Get Dictionary Definitions From Anywhere in Mac OS X with Spotlight
While you can immediately access a dictionary definition by three-finger tapping on a single word in Mac OS X or double-tapping in iOS, the Mac also provides another instant dictionary option: Spotlight.
Yup, the good old Spotlight desktop file search also doubles as a full fledged dictionary access point, this is perfect for when you quickly want the definition of a word that is either in your head or just not written on the screen to access from the tap method.
To use the Spotlight dictionary for a quick lookup of a word from anywhere in Mac OS X, just do the following:
- Hit Command+Spacebar to bring up Spotlight
- Type the word you want to define and it will show up in the Spotlight search results labeled as “Look Up”
- Hover over the word to see a Quick Look window including the definition
If you click on the word or hit the Return key you will launch the Dictionary app with the definition, though that isn’t necessary as the hover option is very fast.
This isn’t just a Mavericks, Yosemite, Lion and Mountain Lion feature though, it even works in Mac OS X Snow Leopard though the nicer Quick Look hover option doesn’t exist and instead you’ll see an older style popup.