Define words and phrases with google.

define(){ local y="$@";curl -sA"Opera" "http://www.google.com/search?q=define:${y// /+}"|grep -Po '(?<=<li>)[^<]+'|nl|perl -MHTML::Entities -pe 'decode_entities($_)' 2>/dev/null;}
This function takes a word or a phrase as arguments and then fetches definitions using Google's "define" syntax. The "nl" and perl portion isn't strictly necessary. It just makes the output a bit more readable, but this also works: define(){ local y="$@";curl -sA"Opera" "http://www.google.com/search?q=define:${y// /+}"|grep -Po '(?<=<li>)[^<]+';} If your version of grep doesn't have perl compatible regex support, then you can use this version: define(){ local y="$@";curl -sA"Opera" "http://www.google.com/search?q=define:${y// /+}"|grep -Eo '<li>[^<]+'|sed 's/<li>//g'|nl|perl -MHTML::Entities -pe 'decode_entities($_)' 2>/dev/null;}
Sample Output
$ define bash
     1  knock: a vigorous blow; "the sudden knock floored him"; "he took a bash right in his face"; "he got a bang on the head"
     2  sock: hit hard
     3  an uproarious party
     4  The American comedy television series Weeds was created by Jenji Kohan and airs on premium cable channel Showtime. ...
     5  Bash is a free software Unix shell written for the GNU Project. Its name is an acronym which stands for Bourne-again shell. ...

18
2010-01-29 05:01:11

2 Alternatives + Submit Alt

  • This version works on Mac (avoids grep -P, adding a sed step instead, and invokes /usr/bin/perl with full path in case you have another one installed). Still requires that you install perl module HTML::Entities ? here's how: http://www.perlmonks.org/?node_id=640489


    7
    define(){ local y="$@";curl -sA"Opera" "http://www.google.com/search?q=define:${y// /+}"|grep -Eo '<li>[^<]+'|sed 's/^<li>//g'|nl|/usr/bin/perl -MHTML::Entities -pe 'decode_entities($_)';}
    gthb · 2010-01-30 13:08:03 12
  • This is a minimalistic version of the ubiquitious Google definition screen scraper. This version was designed not only to run fast, but to work using BusyBox. BusyBox is a collection of basic Unix tools that have been compiled into a single binary to save space on tiny installations of Unix. For example, although my phone doesn't have perl or the GNU utilities, it does have BusyBox's stripped down versions of wget, tr, and sed. It turns out that those tools suffice for many tasks. Known Bugs: This script does not handle HTML entities at all. I don't think there's an easy way to do that within BusyBox, but I'd love to see it if someone could do it. Also, this script can only define a single word, not phrases. (Well, you could if you typed in %20, but that'd be gross.) Lastly, this script does not show the URL where definitions were found. Given the randomness of the Net, that last bit of information is often key. Show Sample Output


    0
    wget -q -U busybox -O- "http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF8&q=define%3A$1" | tr '<' '\n' | sed -n 's/^li>\(.*\)/\1\n/p'
    hackerb9 · 2010-02-01 13:01:47 8

What Others Think

I should add that if you have a word list, you can add completion to this command with this: _define(){ COMPREPLY=($(grep "^$(quote_readline "${COMP_WORDS[COMP_CWORD]}")" /usr/share/dict/words));return 0;};complete -F _define define Just change "/usr/share/dict/words" to the location of your word list.
eightmillion · 669 weeks and 6 days ago
Thanks for your effort. My vote for you.
vlan7 · 669 weeks and 6 days ago
Google define: search output has changed drastically. This is no longer valid.
tamouse · 585 weeks and 1 day ago
I do not know what I am doing wrong but this does not seem to work can anyone explain why?
techie · 495 weeks ago
This article fully explains how word and phrases are definitely by google. This coding system helps you to understand working of google search engine. The essay service reviews published some helpful reviews in the official forum. You can check this.
ROMAN32 · 124 weeks and 1 day ago
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seofox · 43 weeks and 1 day ago
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seofox · 42 weeks and 2 days ago
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rahimhh21 · 13 weeks ago
I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. luckyneko http://mehfeel.net/mehfeel/blogs/post/344833
BestComments74 · 9 weeks ago
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Perfecthomepugs · 4 weeks and 2 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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