hacking dict.org with ubuntu linux

I got bored one day and decided to try out some of the functionalities offered by the dict.org server. Dict is dictionary server protocol designed to give access to definitions from a set of natural language dictionary databases.

Here’s how I access dict.org server using only ‘telnet’ application available on my Ubuntu desktop.

  • Launch a terminal app, telnet to dict.org port 2628
  • List all available dictionaries by typing “show db”
  • Get definitions of word using, “define [dictionary] word” (define wn boring)
  • In this case i choose ‘boring’, since I’m pretty bored at this time to do this stuffs
  • For more dict commands, please refer to RFC 2229

Screenshot dict on Linux

A friendly dict client (named “Dictionary Lookup‘) is included as a panel applet in Ubuntu. You can easily lookup word definitions from your desktop panel :

And with the information on the RFC 2229, i’m there’s a lot more of dict clients out there, that might suit your needs.


2 Replies to “hacking dict.org with ubuntu linux”

  1. Apart from the regular dict clients that are commonly available on most GNU/Linx distros, you will be surprised to note that nifty tools like ‘curl’ also support dict:// protocol.



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