Frequently Asked Questions

Dictionaries for Mac

How do I look up words?

Dictionaries integrates into macOS’s Look Up function. Depending on what Mac you have, it can be invoked by either tapping the word with three fingers on the trackpad, force-touching it on newer trackpad models, or by right-clicking the word with the mouse and choosing Look up “…”

Why spellchecking doesn’t work in my app?

macOS apps cannot see new spellchecking dictionaries that appeared in the system after they were launched. You have to quit the affected app and relaunch it so that it notices your newly installed dictionaries.

How can I update the dictionaries?

Open the Dictionaries app and give it a second or two to check for updates. If there is an update to any of your installed dictionaries, an "Update dictionaries" button will appear in the toolbar.

Why my English dictionary disappeared?

This can sometimes happen if you never used Apple’s Dictionary app before. To fix it, launch Dictionary (not Dictionaries) and open its Preferences window (or press ⌘+,). There, re-enable the appropriate dictionary.

How do I uninstall Dictionaries?

To completely uninstall everything, you need to first uninstall the dictionary data files that you installed with Dictionaries and only then uninstall the app itself:

  1. Launch the Dictionaries app.
  2. Remove all dictionaries using the delete button in the toolbar.
  3. Quit the app.
  4. Uninstall the app as usual, by dragging it to the Trash.