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How to Change or Add Dictionary to Kindle

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One primary reason I like reading on Kindle is the utterly convenient dictionary feature. To look up the definition of a strange word on Kindle, we just need to press and hold on the word. But sometimes the default dictionary doesn't work very well especially when it meets some plural nouns or past participle.

Here we are going to introduce how to add or change the Kindle dictionary.

Add Dictionary to Kindle

1 Download the dictionary file to computer

The dictionary for Kindle is actually a .mobi file, we can download it freely from the internet or buy one from Amazon Kindle Store. Here I got a Collins Cobuild V3 dictionary file, yes I like Collins dictionary since my college years.

2 Plug Kindle to computer with USB Cable

Every Kindle user should have a USB Cable in the box which is shipped with the device, find it and use it to connect Kindle and computer. Seconds later there will generate a Removable Disk called "Kindle", open it and find "documents\dictionaries" folder.

plug kindle to computer

3 Paste the dictionary file into the "dictionaries" folder

copy dictionary to kindle folder

4 Safe eject Kindle and unplug the USB Cable

Now all the steps on computer are finished, the following job is to make the dictionary file work on Kindle.

Change the default Kindle dictionary

Different generation of Kindle should be set in different ways, do it as the list below:

- Kindle 3: Home -> Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Change Primary Dictionary

- Kindle 4: Home -> Menu -> Settings -> Dictionaries

- Kindle Touch: Home -> Menu -> Settings -> Dictionaries

- Kindle DXG: Home -> Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Change Primary Dictionary

- Kindle Paperwhite: Home -> Menu -> Settings -> Device Options -> Language and Dictionaries -> Dictionaries

As I am using a Kindle Paperwhite at the moment, so I am going to take Kindle Paperwhite for example and introduce the process. And let's set the start point at the "Dictionaries" screen.

kindle dictionary screen

Press the "Dictionaries" option, we can see the default Kindle dictionary - "Oxford Dictionary of English".

default Kindle dictionary

By pressing it we can change the primary dictionary of english. As the screenshow below, "Oxford Dictionary of English" is defaultly chosen and we need to switch to "collins3", which is recently imported by me.

change primary dictionary

Then back to the previous screen we can see the default dictionary for english has been changed.

change default dictionary

Now let's check the result.

download kindle dictionary

Want to add foreign language dictionary to Kindle

No problem! And the steps are pretty familiar to the above. Suppose I am reading a book writen in french, so I need a french-english dictionary.

First we need to download a french to english dictionary file, then transfer to the Kindle dictionary folder. As this is the first french dictionary in my Kindle, I need not to change any settings, the Kindle will choose this file as the primary dictionary for french language.

foreign-language-dictionary-for-kindle

Then open a french book, press and hold on a word I don't know the definition, and see what happens.

add foreign dictionary to kindle

 

author

joined Epubor since 2011, loves everything about eBooks and eReaders. He seeks the methods to read eBooks more freely and wants to share all he has got with you.

21 Comments
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10/18/2013 02:22:50
Which french dictionary are you using?
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10/21/2013 02:08:28
I randomply picked on from the internet, and it is not good IMO.
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12/16/2013 03:14:51
Thank you very much for such clear and useful tips.
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01/16/2014 16:57:03
Very helpful. The instructions are clear and concise.
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01/20/2014 23:52:32
i accidentally deleted my dictionary folder.
can you send me a email with the dictionary file as an attachment.
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01/27/2014 13:51:05
2 comments in one day might seem a lot but... You kind of made it for me :D
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02/6/2014 11:52:49

Jonny

Thanks for the article. Can you point to links where the dictionaries you've mentioned can be downloaded?

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02/6/2014 19:40:02

Hi Parry,

As the dictionaries are not made by me, and I just used them for writing this article. So I don't think it would be fine to add the download link here as I do not know if that dictionary is legally free to use.

However, you can search what you want in google, that's how I found these dictionaries.

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03/1/2014 14:50:17

Very useful, really,
but, where can i find the dictionaries in .mobi

Thanks!

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03/3/2014 18:42:12

As the dictionaries are not made by me, and I just used them for writing this article. So I don't think it would be fine to add the download link here as I do not know if that dictionary is legally free to use.

However, you can search what you want in google, that's how I found these dictionaries.

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05/21/2014 02:43:46
Hi Jonny,
thanks a lot for your great article. Finally, I have managed to make my dictionary work on my Kindle 4.
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05/24/2014 23:55:35
When I go to change my dictionary in the settings it isn't there.... Any possible explanations as to why? :)
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05/31/2014 04:06:31
A free dictionary that is good for the mind. I can't post the link but search for "jsomers webster 1913". His blog post tells why, then how.
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05/31/2014 04:10:21
A free dictionary that is good for the mind. I can't post the link but search for "jsomers webster 1913". His blog post tells why, then how.
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05/31/2014 04:12:02
A free dictionary that is good for the mind: I can't post the link but search for "jsomers webster 1913". His blog post tells why, then how.
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06/11/2014 21:22:40
Are those dictionaries for free? Somehow I ended up downloading a Portuguese dictionary (not from the Kindle store) and it is now included in my Kindle. Yet, when I went to the Kindle store, that dictionary allegedly costs 9.99 USD. I checked my email and my Amazon account and there are no charges. Any thoughts on that?
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06/19/2014 12:38:28
I can't find how to install this on my kindle, it shows up as a book and I can't choose the dictionnary in the settings :( Any help ?
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08/13/2014 02:56:35
Hi Alice, did you find a solution as I have the same problem.
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08/13/2014 03:09:45
all this words about obvious how-to-copy-and-paste-files are pretty useless without giving a link to a source where readers can get the dictionaries to do all the stuff author described
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10/21/2014 05:33:08
am speechless. It is a unbelievable weblog and very partaking too. .Great work! That's probably not a lot coming from an beginner blogger like me, but it's all I may assume after having fun with your posts. Nice grammar and vocabulary. Not like different blogs. You actually know what you are speaking about too. So much that you made me want to learn more. Your blog has turn into a stepping stone for me, my fellow blogger. Thank you for the detailed journey. I actually enjoyed the 6 posts that I have learned so far.
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10/23/2014 00:02:35
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