Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I find the dictionaries in /usr/share/dict/ quite useful. How do I download (or install) all of them, for every language, without having to install every language pack?

Also, if the answer involves package management, how do I properly remove them again?

share|improve this question
Be aware that there are languages using myspell and/or hunspell. So there is usr/share/myspell/dicts/ and /usr/share/hunspell, where you find other dictionaries. –  Pit Feb 4 '11 at 14:26

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, the various packages (e.g. wcatalan, wbritish-large wbritish-small, …) don't follow a pattern so

 apt-get install words-\*

or similar will not work. Typing /usr/share/dict into the search box of Software Center appears to yield all the wordlists, but I don't know if that is exhaustive.

If you want spell checking without the wordlists,

 sudo apt-get install aspell-\*

will pull in the (larger set) of spell checkers which work on a larger set of languages but cannot yield the wordlist used to compile them.

Be forewarned, given the way the wordlists were generated (cf. Steve Johnson CACM v28 1985) from words and proper nouns actually encountered in documents, the extra words might not be obviously jargon or proper to a non-native speaker)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.