Locktionary: search the iOS dictionary from the Lock screen

By , Mar 11, 2016

locktionary dictionary on iOS lock screen

Locktionary is a new jailbreak tweak that can be had for free from Cydia’s BigBoss repository that will let you search for the definition of any word right from the Lock screen.

The tweak offers a simple way to quickly figure the meaning of a word without having to be vocal with Siri and without even having to unlock your iPhone. In this piece, we’ll walk you through how the tweak works and let you know what we think about it.

Using Locktionary to define words from the Lock screen

Since we often stumble upon words we don’t know while we’re reading, listening to people speak, or dealing with words in other ways, having instant access to a dictionary to learn the meaning of those words is always helpful.

You could download a third-party dictionary app from the App Store, or you could use the dictionary built into iOS. The only problem is, it’s not very straight forward to use the dictionary built into iOS because Apple never made a dedicated app for it, and installing a third-party dictionary app would mean wasting valuable storage space.

With Locktionary, what you get is a simple search field placed on the Lock screen for your convenience, and any word that you search from it gets looked up from the dictionary built into iOS itself.

When you want to use the tweak, simply type a word into the text field on the Lock screen, and then tap on the blue “Done” key on the keyboard, and iOS will show the definition of the word for you. When you’re done reading the definition of the word, you can tap on the “Done” button from the top right of the dictionary interface to return to the Lock screen.

Configuring Locktionary

Locktionary didn’t have any options to configure until the latest version of the tweak, version 1.1.0. That version is now available in Cydia and lets you either toggle the tweak on or off on demand and also lets you enable or disable auto lock while you’re on the Lock screen.

locktionary preferences pane

Because the tweak only works when the Lock screen is awake, turning off Auto Lock is a good idea if you want to ensure the screen doesn’t fall asleep on you while you’re typing a word into the text field. With Auto Lock enabled, we found the screen would often fall asleep on us mid-typing, and it made it hard to complete long words, especially when we’d check our spelling to make sure we spelled the word right before searching.

My thoughts on Locktionary

To be completely honest, Locktionary is a great idea, and I would love to use the tweak, but it seems like it’s a bit rough around the edges. The auto-locking problem is a bit intrusive, the ugly white text field box on the Lock screen, and the horrible text spacing inside the text field box are all things that need some serious refining to feel more flush with iOS 9.

On the other hand, the tweak works, and it works good. If you needed a way to get a quick definition, this tweak wouldn’t fail you. It just wouldn’t look very good doing it.

One of the good things about the tweak is that it uses the built-in iOS dictionary, which I feel is a great use of a resource iOS already has. For that, I’d say it might be worth the download if you search for word definitions quite often.


For a quick way to get to your iOS dictionary to look up a word without having to unlock your iPhone or use Siri, Locktionary is a decent choice for jailbreakers. The tweak is open source and the source code can be viewed on GitHub.

Related: Use Activator to define words from anywhere in iOS

What are your thoughts on Locktionary? Share in the comments below!

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