The best thing about macos is the dictionaries accessible from dictionary.app. Is there a way to convert them to a format that is usable on other platforms as well (such as the dict format or the stardict format)?

Alternatively, is there a way to extract them into a plain text format? (How are they stored anyway and where?)

PS There is this


for extracting word lists. Perhaps it could be changed to extract the whole dictionaries as well?

  • Which dictionaries are you having in mind here?
    – nohillside
    Jun 18 '19 at 10:53

Dictionaries used to be in /System/Library/Dictionaries, but they were moved (c. Sierra?) to various subfolders in /System/Library/Assets/com_apple_MobileAsset_DictionaryServices_dictionaryOSX.

The format is a package, and the data files inside seem to be some non-human-readable binary data format, though they start off life as XML files.

Assuming you've searched for projects that can import Apple's dictionaries, rather than just exporting them, and found nothing; then the task may be 'non-trivial', and you may be better off using the very good open source DICT format files.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .