is a small command-line frontend to the Japanese Multi-lingual Electronic Dictionary (JMdict). JMdict is compiled and maintained by Jim Breen and The Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group at Monash University, Australia. Please note the differentiation made: jmdict is the program distributed here; JMdict is the database used by it and is owned and maintained by mentioned others.

jmdict 0.8

There is a graphical user interface to JMdict called gjdict by Daniel Albuschat which is partly based on this project. For most users it will be more comfortable.

What you need


  1. make PREFIX=prefix
    PREFIX defaults to /usr and can be changed to something else e.g. for local installs.
  2. make install PREFIX=prefix DESTDIR=destdir
    Again PREFIX defaults to /usr and must be consistent with PREFIX passed to make. DESTDIR is optional and defaults to nothing. It can be used e.g. for sandbox builds.


Use jmdict_import <dictionary> [destdir] once to create the dictionary database. dictionary is the filename of the extracted JMdict.gz. destdir is an optional destination directory to place the resulting SQLite database in, defaulting to ".".

After that, run jmdict without arguments, it will explain itself.


jmdict is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. JMdict, the dictionary file jmdict is based on, is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.


Releases can be found on SourceForge.


0.9 (Feb 08 2015 10:32 GMT)

0.8.1 (Feb 27 2009 16:22 GMT)

0.8 (Feb 27 2009 11:14 GMT)

0.8_pre1 (May 26 2008 22:18 GMT)

0.7 (Apr 09 2008 18:05 GMT)

0.6.1 (Mar 09 2008 00:33 GMT)

0.6 (Oct 02 2007 18:42 GMT)

0.5 (Oct 26 2006 20:04 GMT)

0.4 (Oct 24 2006 20:38 GMT)

0.3 (Oct 18 2004 09:19 GMT)

0.2 (Oct 13 2004 22:29 GMT)

0.1 (Oct 07 2004 21:38 GMT) Logo