Home » Mac, Reviews, how to, Software

New in OS X Lion: Dictionary

13 May 2011 7,628 views 5 Comments

For better and mostly better, Apple’s upcoming desktop operating system rewrite due this Summer will change how we use our Macs. One of the more subtle and, frankly, attractive feature updates is Dictionary, which gains deeper hooks in OS X, more/newer dictionaries and a new user interface.

The first place you’re likely come across the changes in Dictionary is Spotlight (image above). Whereas the Dictionary line item has been a part of Spotlight results for years already, now you get the information without opening the app — it just displays and that’s a good thing.

See also: Can my Mac run Lion?, New in Lion: Safari 5.1, Gone in Lion: Rosetta, Java, Samba…

Another good thing is that right clicking on a word and selecting “Look up” in Safari, or any other app that displays text, also delivers results in a pop-up without launching Dictionary. Again, like Spotlight, you can click the look up results — dictionary, thesaurus, wikipedia — and be taken to the appropriate app or webpage.

See also: New in OS X Lion: QuickTime 10.1, New in OS X Lion: Preview

Lastly, the Dictionary app itself has more power under the hood in the form of more dictionaries, especially foreign ones, and that can be very, very handy for those of us that operate in multiple languages and cultures. Further, the dictionaries themselves are newer versions, mostly 2010 editions.

Been digging around inside Mac OS X 10.7 Lion? Share your impressions and a link if possible in the comments below…

via AppleInsider, YouTube


  • joberele said:

    This will be a long overdue improvement! It would be good to see pronunciation, similar to Macmillan Dictionary Online, also included. I have added, the available, French and German languages to my Dictionary. The story graphic displays Japanese language. I would imagine that other asian languages such as Chinese, would also now become available.

  • Going on a Lion hunt [OS X 10.7 ready apps] | FairerPlatform said:

    [...] Dictionary 2.2: The OS X default dictionary-thesaurus now launches in-app and features a new user interface. [...]

  • ali said:

    Alright, Mac user of 3 years here. English is my second language and I’m in a U.S. college so I run into words I don’t understand quite often, and I always looked up those words in spotlight right away so I can learn as much as I can.

    Now with this update it’s a pain to scroll down to the last field in spotlight just to see the definition of a word, and the preferences aren’t allowing me to change the order of the dictionary in spotlight. Is there a workaround for this?

  • Adrian said:

    Is there any website that shows the list of all the possible foreign languages e.g. Chinese English, Korean English, French English? It seems that there are quite a couple of websites that provide specific languages and it could be quite onerous to check out every individual and disparate website. Moreover some websites are already defunct. Would highly appreciate it if anyone of you could share this invaluable information on this comment page.

    Cheers :)

  • the rocr (author) said:

    The knowledge base article associated with OS updates (http://fairerplatform.com/2011/07/mac-os-x-10-6-8-update-apple-has-another-go/) lists the supported languages. However, there are a number smaller languages, such as Apache, Hebrew and Icelandic, that get updated independently.

    Deutsch, English, Français, 日本語, Español, Italiano, Nederlands, Dansk, Norsk Bokmål, Polski, Português, Português Brasileiro, Pусский, Suomi, Svensk, 简体中文, 繁體中文, 한국어

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.