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A command-line dictionary (thesaurus) app, with access to multiple sources, written in Go.

screen shot 2018-03-21 at 8 51 54 pm


Pre-compiled binaries are available on the releases page.

If you have a working Go environment, you can install via go get:

go get


The define app allows configuration through multiple means. You can either set configuration via:

  • Command line flags (good for one-off use)
  • A configuration file (good for your "dotfiles")
  • Environment variables (especially useful for API keys)

Command line flags

The list of command line flags is easily discovered via the --help flag. Any passed command line flag will take precedence over any other configuration mechanism.

Configuration file

A configuration file can be stored at ~/.define.conf.json and define will automatically load the values specified there.

To print the default values of the configuration, simply use the --print-config flag. This can also be used to initialize a configuration file, for example:

define --print-config > ~/.define.conf.json

Environment variables

Some configuration values can also be specified via environment variables. This is especially useful for API keys of different sources.

The following environment variables are read by define's sources:



The define app has access to multiple sources, however some of them require user-specific API keys, due to usage limitations.

A preferred source can be specified with the command line flag --preferred-source="..." or in a configuration file. For more information, see the section on Configuration.

Obtaining API keys

The following are links to register for API keys for the different sources:

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