When we look up the meaning of any word through Spotlight:

enter image description here

There is no 'source' information.


Even the Dictionary.app, which Spotlight uses, does not show the source.

The best I can find so far is to disable / enable different Dictionaries in Dictionary.app's Preferences, until the definition disappears / changes, to figure out from what dictionary the meaning is from.

How can I see where the definition comes from without this pain?

  • I don’t understand from your question what the actual problem is. Do you have a screenshot that shows the expected result and one that shows the actual result?
    – daneb
    Jan 8 at 6:14
  • @daneb - The Dictionary app allows us to add many "source" dictionary, thesaurus, etc. When a search in Dictionary displays a result, OP wants to know from which source it is. (See my answer for more info).
    – sfxedit
    Jan 8 at 8:17
  • You must be a mind-reading ninja. Your answer makes sense but I’m still not convinced that is the OPs question.
    – daneb
    Jan 11 at 5:03

The Dictionary app does tell you the source, though it is not intuitive. When you add a new "source" through Dictionary's Preferences, the Dictionary app adds a tab button for it on the top.

  • Example 1 - Oxford Dictionary:

Dictionary screenshot - Oxford

  • Example 2 - Apple Dictionary:

Dictionary screenshot - Apple

When a search result is displayed in Dictionary, the tab button name highlights the source from which it found the result.

Sometimes, the tab button names are not helpful. For such cases, you can rename it to what you want:

  • Right-click the tab name, and click on Edit Label:

Dictionary screenshot - Renaming a tab button

  • Type the new name, and click OK.

Dictionary screenshot - Renaming a tab button

  • The tab button will now be renamed:

Dictionary screenshot - Renaming a tab button

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