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Developed byDICT Development Group
Introduced1997; 25 years ago (1997)
SpecificationRFC 2229

DICT is a little-used network dictionary protocol created by the DICT Development Group in 1997. It was supposed to make it easy to publish dictionaries on special servers and interact with those servers remotely using TCP port 2628.


The DICT development group operates a web interface you can use to search the few dictionary sources that are available on the Internet.

The "Jargon File", WordNet, the "Free On-line Dictionary of Computing" and the "CIA World Factbook" are available in DICT format.

The www.freelang.net can also be used by means of the DICT protocol.

DICT is, beyond these examples, not really used by anyone for anything. It's there. New versions of obscure software nobody's heard of released for it now and then, so you could start using it for something if you really want to.

DICT Server Software

  • dictd - reference server made by the DICT Development Group)
  • DictD++ - A server written in C++
  • GNU Dico - A modular database-independant implementation from the GNU project. Available from https://puszcza.gnu.org.ua/software/dico/

It would be nice if software like the MediaWiki wiki software had dict support, but it doesn't (it wouldn't be that hard to make something that provided the text up until the first headline on a page as a "dictionary" response to a given word).

DICT Client Software

GNOME Dictionary, Kdict and KTranslator support the DICT protocol. There's also a simple client in the GNU Dino package.


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