I'm using gvim:

$ gvim --version
VIM - Vi IMproved 8.0 (2016 Sep 12, compiled Feb 16 2017 06:36:51)
MacOS X (unix) version
Included patches: 1-329
Compiled by Homebrew

I was editing the following line of text:

enable mouse scrolling, pane selection, pan reiszing and so on.

I noticed "reiszing" was misspelled so I used the following command to turn on spellcheck:

setlocal spell spelllang=en_us

"reiszing" was highlighted as expected but then I accidently used the zg command which added the word to my dictionary. I grepped through /usr/share/dict/words but didn't find "reiszing".

  • How do I remove this word from my dictionary?
  • If the word isn't stored in /usr/share/dict/words, then where is it?

I read in another answer that the command

set runtimepath?

Can be used to find the paths that vim uses:


I was able to fix my problem by blowing away the files:

$ rm /usr/local/Cellar/macvim/8.0-127/MacVim.app/Contents/Resources/vim/runtime/spell/en.utf-8.add
$ rm /usr/local/Cellar/macvim/8.0-127/MacVim.app/Contents/Resources/vim/runtime/spell/en.utf-8.add.spl

This worked fine for me now becuase it was the first time this happened but I'm curious if there is a simpler and less destructive way to remove a word from the dictionary after adding it with the zg command.

I've tried cmd + fing the spell man page for "remove word" but found nothing.

  • sorry for the typo! please see edit
    – mbigras
    Mar 17, 2017 at 17:25
  • 1
    Do you mean zg (instead of ng) ? :-) Mar 17, 2017 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


To remove a word, try zuw and/or zug

I've tried cmd + fing the spell man page for "remove word" but found nothing.

For a cmd+f search, I have had more success searching only on "remove" :-)

If you turn on spelling with setlocal spell spelllang=en_us then your long term dictionary is in your home directory. Mine is at:


This is where zg adds words.

While you can edit ~/.vim/spell/en.utf-8.add in vim under a different tab to remove erroneous entries, the zug command is probably easier. :-)

The zG command adds to a temporary file, under /tmp

help spellfile (help spf) can provide more details about the file's location and format.

  • thank you for the response StandardEyre, I updated my question, the file you mentioned doesn't exist
    – mbigras
    Mar 17, 2017 at 17:17

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