Since I upgraded to El Capitan, Spotlight has refused to look up for definitions in my custom dictionary (built by me). Instead, it sticks itself with Apple's default English-English dictionary.

Note that the custom dictionary:

  • is already at the top of the dictionary list;
  • still works just fine with Dictionary.app and Quick Lookup (three-finger touch).

Does anyone know why and have a solution or workaround to this problem?

Thanks a lot in advance.

  • me too i used english to persian and now is english to english
    – user151613
    Oct 10, 2015 at 9:39

1 Answer 1


Well, I managed to almost get it working by going to /Library/Dictionaries and rename Oxford Dictionary of English into something else. Then Spotlight started showing the results from dicts in Dictionary.app.

However, this is a rather kludgy solution for me because:

  1. You have to Press Cmd+L in order to view translation, and there is no way to move 'Definition' up in Spotlight order
  2. After I restarted my Mac, my Spotlight started to display result from another built-in dict, Oxford Thesaurus.

I guess, you could just remove all dictionaries that you do not use. Anyhow, maybe it could be of some help for you.

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