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vim-dict is a dict client. It uses curl to connect to dict servers, so make sure you have curl installed.


Place in ~/.vim/plugin/dict.vim or in case of Pathogen:

cd ~/.vim/bundle
git clone


To lookup a word (or words) in the dictionary use Dict command:

:Dict hello
:Dict start up

The Dict command uses hosts and databases defined in the g:dict_hosts global list. By default it is set to [["", ["all"]]] (the format will be explained a bit later).

Dict command can use a current word under the cursor. Just move the cursor to a word and type in the command line:


You can also select words in the visual mode with help of the DictSelection command:



There are just a few global variables (options) you may set in the .vimrc file.

  • g:dict_hosts

    The most important one is a list g:dict_hosts mentioned earlier. It combines hosts/databases used by vim-dict. The list entries are lists themselves and share the following format:

      ["host_name", ["database1", "database2", ...]]

    The sample extract from someone's ~/.vimrc file could look like this:

      let g:dict_hosts = [
          \["", ["all"]],
          \["", ["slovnyk_en-pl", "slovnyk_pl-en"]]

    Moreover vim-dict can help you figure out what databases are available on your servers. There is a special command for this:


    You can even open your .vimrc and provide some host urls only:

      let g:dict_hosts = [
          \["", []],
          \["", []]

    Then save and reload .vimrc, perform DictShowDb and yank-paste the databases you want :).

    The list of DICT servers can be found on the internet, e.g. here.

  • g:dict_leave_pw

    If set to 1 vim-dict leaves the preview window (the focus remains on the current window). By default it is set to 0.


      let g:dict_leave_pw = 0

Useful tips

On Ubuntu you might want to add system dictionary to Vim:

set dictionary+=/usr/share/dict/words

This will enable the dictionary in the insert mode (CTRL-X CTRL-K). Additionaly it could be useful to add the dictionary to the standard word completions (CTRL-N...) for text and Markdown file types. To do this set the complete to include k value:

au FileType text,markdown setlocal complete+=k


Copyright © 2012 Szymon Wrozynski. Distributed under the same terms as Vim itself. See :help license