I’ve always had a nerdy affection for dictionaries. When I was a kid, I actually used to read dictionaries for fun. Yeah, I just admitted that.

So it’s not surprising, to me anyway, that Dictionary.app is one of the most used apps on my Mac. There’s no telling how many times a day I go there.

Normally I enter Dictionary.app via LaunchBar.

Lb dict pe 1

I use the triple finger tap in Lion a lot, too.

Triple tap dict pe

Dictionary.app is not a pretentious app. It does exactly what it’s meant to do: get you in, then back out as quickly as possible.

In addition to having access to the full New Oxford American Dictionary, you also have a thesaurus, Wikipedia, and even a dictionary of Apple terms.

Dictionary app pe

But wait. There’s more.

With Dictionary selected, click Go > Front/Back Matter to view “extras” associated with the New Oxford American Dictionary. You’ll find writing reference help on things like

  • English grammar rules
  • Spelling guidelines
  • Capitalization and punctuation guidelines
  • Clichés to avoid

There are also handy lists of common things like

  • Presidents of the US
  • States of the US
  • Countries of the world

You’ll even find the text of the Declaration of Independence and conversion guidelines for standard weights and measures.

Yep, all in little ole Dictionary.app.