Sometimes we all come across a word that leaves us biting our lips, creasing our brows and feeling a bit perplexed as to its meaning.

Desktop application ‘Artha’ makes copy n’ paste n’ searching for a definition a thing of the past; just highlight the word, press a key combo and a Ubuntu Notification bubble pops up with the definition.

This method allows you to continue working completely uninterrupted – but much more knowledgeable.

Artha markets itself as an offline Thesaurus but it’s more of a Thesaurus/Dictionary combo, making use of the extensive WordNet database for work lookups. Artha even works completely off-line, too!


Artha focuses on being useful and user-friendly, an ideal borne out by its’ extensive feature set. A few of which are listed below, taken from the Artha wiki.

Regular Expressions Search

When a word is vaguely known I.e. the user is unclear of its spelling or when it’s start/end alone is known or when the number of characters is known; one can speed up/narrow the search using regular expression to locate the particular word they have in mind.

Example: Entering ‘cro*p‘ means the term you want to find starts with ‘cro‘ and ends with ‘p‘ while the number of characters in between are unknown. It fetches crop, crop up, croup, crock up and crow step.


Artha can show passive notifications (balloon tips) instead of the application window popping up, so that you can continue what you were doing, uninterrupted. (like reading, writing, etc.)


When a misspelled word is queried for, Artha gives you its near-match suggestions.

Relative to Sense Mapping

Relative words like synonyms, antonyms, etc. that are displayed are many. You might not know to which sense/definition of a word does a relative map to. In Artha, when you select a relative, its corresponding definition is scrolled to and highlighted for easy comprehension.

But wait… there’s more…

And if you thought that was extensive the wordy app also provides the following for searched terms (they vary depending on the term searched): –

Synonyms, Antonyms, Derivatives, Pertainyms, Attributes, Similar Terms, Domain Terms, Entails, Causes, Hypernyms, Hyponyms, Holonyms and, finally, Meronyms.

In Ubuntu

Artha, being a GTK application, feels right at home on an Ubuntu Desktop. The tray icon is a wee bit odd looking but not overtly so. To enable ‘passive’ notifications (Ubuntu notification bubbles) you need to press the button next to the information icon.


The application can be installed quickly by clicking the button below.


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