If you select some text in whatever application, there's a "define" option that will open a builtin dictionary screen:

Dictionary Screenshot

Can this dictionary be accessed/browsed? As in, an actual application?

iOS 6.0

  • Somebody could make a jailbreak app for it for sure, and as I'm not sure how it's implemented, somebody might be able to make a normal app that does it (albeit, it wouldn't get accepted into the App Store). – Andrew Larsson Oct 7 '13 at 16:44

There used to be a nice little app (that luckily I still have) that did exactly that: let you search for definitions directly. It was called Dictionary+ (link no longer available), Apple removed it reportedly for violating the UIReferenceLibraryViewController terms of use)

There's a replacement open source app that you can build, sign and install it manually, I haven't tried it, though: https://github.com/josh-/DictionaryPlusPlus

In recent iOS version you can also access definitions from the phone’s search (Spotlight) but for some reason sometimes it doesn’t work and may require internet.

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