The Online Plain Text English Dictionary, or OPTED , can be consulted from the text editor Vim  quite easily. The OPTED is a public-domain dictionary based on the etext compiled by Project Gutenberg  from the 1913 version of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. It has about 180,000 entries.
from the OPTED website and unzip
unzip -aa or other means to ensure that the text files
contain the correct newline format for your machine.)
This produces a directory
v003 containing many HTML
v003 is not a distinctive name, you
may want to rename the directory. We will refer
to this directory as the OPTED directory, whatever its
Put the file
opted.vim in one of your Vim
plugin directories, e.g.,
.vimrc or in a plugin file, let the global
location of the OPTED directory, e.g.,
let g:opted_dir = '/home/ds26/opted/v003'
If you don't explicitly set
g:opted_dir yourself, it will be assumed
~/v003. I.e., the plugin will assume that you unpacked the
OPTED zip file in your home directory and didn't rename it.
From Vim, you may now use the command
gm to open up
a small (5-line) Vim window into the OPTED.
The OPTED window as seen in Vim is the result of
massaging the original OPTED files into Vim-suitable
tags files. This massaging is a
time-consuming process, but it need be done only once,
and thus happens only the first time
gm is called.
(To avoid an unseemly delay when
you try to consult the dictionary for the very first time
from Vim, you could pre-build the
files by calling
vim -c "norm gm" -c q from your
Once in the OPTED window, you may use any of Vim's several tags commands to specify a dictionary headword as a tag. E.g.,
The Vim command
:help tags shows you the various
ways to do tag search in Vim. Vim allows both
completion and regular expressions on tags, so you don't have to
have the spelling down pat. Jumping to the tag
will show the definition of the headword. You can also
browse around the thus-obtained definition using normal
Vim navigation commands.
The VIM (Vi IMproved) Home Page.|
Ralph S. Sutherland.
The Online Plain Text English