StarDict Dictionaries

Updated: 2020-02-01
Published: 2013-06-07


Imagine that you want to have fast, offline access to a dictionary. To multiple dictionaries, glossaries, and encyclopedias. Perhaps you want to store this data in a way that can be used across multiple systems, without relying on a local dictionary server (like dictd or dicod). Perhaps you would like the option of using either a simple, scriptable command to query those dictionaries, or a full GUI.

You need StarDict. The primary project is at

Dictionary storage

User dictionaries are stored in ~/.stardict/dic; system dictionaries in /usr/share/stardict/dic.

As an example, the following files exist in ~/.stardict/dic/stardict-wordnet-3.0.0/:

  • wordnet.idx

  • wordnet.syn


  • wordnet.ifo

Dictionaries are gzip compressed (the dz file).

Client software

  • For command line queries I recommend sdcv, which is available in the sdcv package in Debian. For your convenience, set up the following in a script or shell alias.

    sdcv -n --utf8-output --color "$@" 2>&1 | \
    fold --width=$(tput cols) | \
    less -FRX
  • GUI: GoldenDict

Dictionary sources

A good source for dictionaries in StarDict format:

Recommended dictionaries:

  • stardict-acronyms-2.4.2

  • stardict-BritannicaConcise-2.4.2

  • stardict-CIA09-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd-bouvier-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd-gazetteer2k-counties-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd-gazetteer2k-places-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd-gazetteer2k-zips-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd-jargon-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd-moby-thesaurus-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd-vera-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd_www.dict.org_elements-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd_www.dict.org_foldoc-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd_www.dict.org_gcide-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd_www.dict.org_wn-2.4.2

  • stardict-dictd_www.dict.org_world95-2.4.2

  • stardict-eng_irregular-2.4.2

  • stardict-EnglishEtymology-2.4.2

  • stardict-thesaurus-ee-2.4.2

  • stardict-wordnet-3.0.0

The GoldenDict site has a list of dictionary sources.

Wikipedia and Wiktionary

Two obvious sources for dictionaries are Wikipedia and Wiktionary.

  • Babylon Software provides a Wikipedia glossary which seems to be an abbreviated Wikipedia.

  • There are some Wiktionary dictionaries in Stardict format available from These are getting old though; as of this writing most of the files there are from the year 2018.

Regarding Wikipedia database conversion, the following links may be interesting:

Converting a dictionary to StarDict format

The KTranslator project provides dictconv, a tool for converting between dictionary formats. It converts Babylon, Freedict, and Sdictionary formats to StarDict. In Debian, just install dictconv.

Stardicter is a Python tool for converting various dictionary formats to the StarDict format.

The stardict-4 project provides utilities for converting DICT, wquick, mova, and pydict formats to StarDict. In Debian, just install the stardict-tools package.

See also