GNU Dictionary Server
7.2 Interactive Mode
If neither word nor URL nor any operation mode option were
given on the command line,
dico enters interactive mode. In
this mode it reads commands from the standard input, executes them and
displays results on the standard output. If the standard input is
connected to a terminal, the readline and history facilities are
enabled (see Command Line Editing in GNU Readline Library).
When in interactive mode,
dico displays its prompt and
waits for you to enter a command. The default prompt is the name
of the program, followed by a ‘greater than’ sign and a single
The input syntax is designed so as to save you the maximum amount of typing.
If you type any word, the default action is to look up its definition using the default server and database settings, for example:
dico> man From eng-swa, English-Swahili xFried/FreeDict Dictionary: man <n.> mwanamume
To match the word, instead of defining it, prefix it with a slash,
much as you do in
dico> /man From eng-swa, English-Swahili xFried/FreeDict Dictionary: 0) ``can'' 1) ``man'' 2) ``many'' 3) ``map'' 4) ``may'' 5) ``men''
Displayed is a list of matches retrieved using the default strategy. To see a definition for a particular match, type the number shown at its left. For example, to define “men”:
dico> 5 From eng-swa, English-Swahili xFried/FreeDict Dictionary: men <n.> wanaume
Define and match are two basic actions. To discern from them, the
dico commands begin with a command prefix, a
single punctuation character selected for this purpose. The default
command prefix is a dot, but it can be changed using the
command (see prefix).
We will discuss the
dico commands in the following
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