I find it a bit cumbersome to go to websites like linguee or dict.cc to look up words as it slows me down and requires an internet connection. Also I find that online dictionaries, that are community curated contain translations that are out-dated or special cases.

Are there any professionally edited offline dictionaries / dictionary apps available for Mac? (By professional I mean they are curated by a publishing house or an editorial team of professionals. Like the Oxford English Dictionary or the German Duden)

I am especially interested in dictionaries for German, English, French and/or Korean.

  • Also, I'd argue that this question could potentially be seen as too broad, seeing as how OP has mentioned three languages (English, German, and Korean), so I'd suggest narrow the scope of your question down to just one particular language.
    – fi12
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 20:52
  • @Flimzy you are right. I editied the question to be more specific on what I consider 'good'. Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 7:09
  • @fi12 I just happen to speak/learn these languages. I also wanted to make it not to language specific because I assumed languagelearning.stackexchange is not too much about specific languages. I just think that many language learners on a Mac are not aware that their system includes high quality dictionaries for free. I often see astonished faces when I tell people and I wanted to share this. Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 7:13
  • I have re-opened the question, but I tend to agree with fi12. While any language is on-topic here, asking a single question about multiple languages can make it too-broad.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 8:25

1 Answer 1


Actually macOS / OS X comes with the "Dictionary" app built in.

German dictionary on Mac

This however is not obvious because it is not promoted and by default only the English dictionary is activated.

You find the Dictionary app easily in your Applications folder or using Spotlight. But to use other languages than English you need to go to the Dictionary app's preferences. There you can activate high quality dictionaries for (among others) German, Italian, French, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, several variants of English and many more.

Activating more dictionaries on Mac

Also: When you don't know a word on the Mac in any application (like your browser) you can use the "Look up" function by clicking on it with a three-finger tap. (This needs to be activated in System Preferences > Trackpad).

  • Good question and answer combo and welcome to Language Learning! However, as Flimzy has said, please try to replace the subjective content such as "best" in your question with more objective criteria. A possible example of this would be maybe asking which offline dictionaries have the most words in a particular languages registered.
    – fi12
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 20:50
  • 1
    You can also add your own dictionaries to the system, e.g. by converting a StarDict dictionary with DictUnifier and putting it in ~/Library/Dictionaries or by installing a Wiktionary dictionary with Dictionaries (my app). Commented Sep 16, 2016 at 7:59

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