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 Dictionaries        An online selection of the most useful online English dictionaries

Online dictionaries are one of the best allies for an English Language Learner, below is a selection of the most important ones. However, in my humble opinion, much as we use online dictionaries we cannot do away with their paper counterparts. I'd always recommend to keep a good dictionary at hand. It is most advisable to have at least a monolingual edition and a good bilingual one, though others are also welcomed (depending on your interests).

  • Oxford:
    • Oxford English Dictionary: http://www.oed.com/ (registration required)
      • Historical thesaurus of the OED
      • Full text of the second edition of the OED
      • Numerous articles on aspects of English, individual words, the history of the OED, and more
      • Oxford dictionary of national biography
      • Key to pronunciation
      • Timelines, videos, updates of new words...
    • Oxford Dictionaries: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/ (free)
    • Oxford Reference: http://www.oxfordreference.com/ (free)
      • Explore contents by subject
  • The Free dictionary: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ (free)
    • Includes definitions, word thesaurus as well as medical, legal and financial dictionaries.
    • Provides definitions for acronyms, idioms and connects with Wikipedia.
    • Includes games, quotes and word of the day...
      Online Reference
      Dictionary, Encyclopedia & more
      Word:
      Look in: Dictionary & thesaurus
      Medical Dictionary
      Legal Dictionary
      Financial Dictionary
      Acronyms
      Idioms
      Encyclopedia
      Wikipedia
      Periodicals
      Literature
      Other languages:
      by:


      Dictionaries2
      Here's part of my library of language dictionaries
  • Metaglosary: http://www.metaglossary.com/ (free)
    • English-English
    • It shows all of the (or at least the most relevant) definitions of the term available on the net, quoting the source where each definition can be found.
  • Dictionary.com> http://dictionary.reference.com/ (free)
    • English-English definition
    • Thesaurus: synonyms and antonyms
    • Dual translation of words and sentences. The languages available include some of the most common, such as Spanish or English, and other languages such as Klingon.
  • Word Reference: http://www.wordreference.com/ (free)
    • English definition, pronunciation and sentence examples
    • Dual language dictionaries
  • Webster: http://www.merriam-webster.com/ (free)
    • English-English definition, pronunciation, word origin and example sentence.
    • Includes medical dictionary, thesaurus as well as Spanish central (which translates into Spanish the word being looked up)
    • An interesting feature is the "rhymes with" section at the end of each entry.
    • Features word games, word of the day, words to be used more often...
    • Visual dictionary: http://www.visualdictionaryonline.com/ 
  • Cambridge: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/ (free)
    • Essential British and American English: definition, pronunciation and example sentences
    • Dual language dictionaries
    • Learners Dictionary, Business dictionary
    • New word posts
  • Collins: http://www.collinsdictionary.com/ (free)
    • Dictionaries (English, English for learners, French, German, Spanish, Italian)
    • Definition, pronunciation, derived forms, synonyms, translation and example sentences
    • Thesaurus
    • Translator
    • Words and language
    • Word games
  • Macmillan: http://www.macmillandictionary.com/ (free)
    • English-English definition
    • Includes an open dictionary section: a crowdsourced dictionary where users can add new entries
    • Buzz Word: Includes those new words that are at the "heart of language change".
  • Longman: http://www.ldoceonline.com/ (free)
    • Double click on words to see definitions
    • English pronunciation and example sentences
  • English picture dictionary: http://www.online-languages.info/english/picture-dictionary.php (free)
    • Pictures and words organised by categories
    • Links to other online dictionaries
  • Little explorers: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/Dictionary.html (free)
    • Picture dictionary with links in several languages and dual versions
  • ESOL help: http://www.esolhelp.com/online-picture-dictionary.html (free)
    • Word categories, flashcards and esl worksheets
  • The Internet Picture Dictionary: http://www.pdictionary.com/ (free)
    • Flashcards, fill-in-the blanks, scramble and spelling games in different languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish)
  • Opdome: http://www.opdome.com/ (free)
    • Word categories with pictures
  • Glosbe: https://glosbe.com/la/en/ (free)
    • Together with the translation it provides information of the word category the term belongs to and the function it may usually fulfill. The dictionary also includes the word pronunciation of the word in the target language uttered by different speakers and in different contexts.
    • It offers dual translation between different world languages including Latin.
    • It has also available dictionaries of German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Chinese, Polish, Russian, Italian, Czech, Portuguese, etc.
    • It is possible to easily swap the origin and target language.
  • Your Dictionary: http://www.yourdictionary.com/ (free)
    • Definitions, thesaurus, word lists, quotes...
    • Includes pronunciation, example sentence and word origin.
  • Wörterbuch: http://www.dict.cc/ (free)
    • It offers dual translation between Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Latin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
    • Together with the translation of the word, it provides with the translation of common expressions and collocations.
  • Urban dictionary: http://www.urbandictionary.com/ (free)
    • Written by users
    • Includes slang and expressions as used by real people
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