Testbed: G3/400 running Mac OS 10.2.8 with 464 MB RAM
Summary: OmniDictionary is small and simple application that allows you to look up definitions of words by accessing a DICT server but the OmniGroup has taken it a step beyond a standard application, increasing it's convenience exponentially.
They accomplished this feat by leveraging a feature of Mac OS X Cocoa apps, and NeXTSTEP before it, which allow them to offer their functionality through Services. What this means to you is that you can simply highlight a word in any Services aware application (any Cocoa app and some Carbon apps), go into the Service menu and select Define in OmniDictionary (or use a keyboard combo). The application will then quickly launch, connect to a server and show you a definition or, some suggested words should the spelling be wrong.
Unfortunately, it doesn't appear very adept at providing alternate words if something is misspelled by more than one or two letters. I do not know if this is a weakness of the application, the DICT server it's connected to or the DICT protocol itself.
On the topic of DICT servers, OmniDictionary allows you to connect to other servers via it's preferences, You can see a list of available servers of various languages at the following URL:
• Instant access to online dictionaries from any Services aware application
• Able to access DICT server of your choosing
• It's Free!
• Not very effective at suggesting alternate spellings
• Sometimes freezes when evoked from Services though force quitting and trying again usually works.
Bottom Line: A very useful application to have on your Mac