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Online Dictionaries  

A list of both language dictionaries and subject-specific dictionaries available online.
Last Updated: May 12, 2014 URL: http://guides.lib.uiowa.edu/online_dictionaries Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Online Dictionaries

  • American National Biography Online  Icon
    Biographical dictionary of notable American men and women from all eras of American history who are no longer alive. Includes illustrations and links to other web resources.
  • Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online
  • Biographical Dictionary of Iowa
  • Combined Chemical Dictionary  Icon
    Includes descriptive and numerical data on chemical, physical and biological properties of compounds; systematic and common names of compounds; literature references; structure diagrams and their associated connection tables. Contains all those compounds published in: Dictionary of organic compounds (200,000 records), Dictionary of natural products (120,000 records), Dictionary of inorganic and organometallic compounds (90,000 records), Dictionary of pharmacological agents (30,000 records), Dictionary of analytical reagents (14,000 records).
  • Concise Oxford-Duden German Dictionary (English-German)  Icon
  • Concise Oxford-Duden German Dictionary (German-English)  Icon
  • Concise Oxford-Hachette French dictionary : French-English, English-French  Icon
    175,000 words and phrases, 270,000 translations. Completely updated to include the very latest vocabulary, the Concise Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary offers authoritative coverage. Brand-new features include cultural notes on life in the French-speaking world.
  • Database of Latin Dictionaries  Icon
    The database will continue to grow gradually and will comprise three kinds of dictionaries: dictionaries to assist translation from Latin into modern languages, dictionaries providing semantic and etymological explanations in Latin of Latin words historical Latin dictionaries. The aim of the database is not only to integrate different types of Latin dictionaries, whether modern, medieval or early-modern, but also to build in links between these different tools.
  • Dictionary of Irish Biography  Icon
    A comprehensive and authoritative biographical dictionary for Ireland. It contains over 9,000 signed biographical articles describing the careers of individuals in all fields of endeavour, including politics, law, religion, literature, journalism, architecture, painting, music, the stage, science, medicine, engineering, entertainment and sport.
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography  Icon
    Provides more than 16,000 biographical and critical essays on the lives, works, and careers of the world's most influential literary figures from all eras and genres.Comprised of Dictionary of literary biography series, Dictionary of literary biography yearbook, and Dictionary of literary biography. Documentary series.
  • Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Journalism in C19  Icon
    The Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Journalism is a new reference work with over 1600 entries detailing British and Irish newspaper and periodical publishing in the nineteenth century.
  • Dictionary of Old English, A to G Online  Icon
    Produced in part with the support of the Canada Foundation for Innovation through the TAPoR project, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
  • Dictionary of Old English, Old English Corpus  Icon
    Contains all surviving Old English material (over 3000 texts), excluding some variant texts. Each text includes a reference to its genre, period and language; a unique text number; a Cameron number; and a short and expanded title used to identify the text in the Dictionary of Old English. Also includes "Latin word wheel".
  • Digital dictionary of Buddhism  Icon
    A compilation of Buddhist technical terminology texts, temples, schools, persons, etc. that are found in East Asian Buddhist canonical sources. Since much of what East Asian Buddhists have written about is the Buddhism of India, Central Asia, and Tibet, the content of this database/dictionary/encyclopedia/translation glossary is pan-Buddhist in character. Dictionaries and other reference sources are in many East Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Pali, Sanskrit and Tibetan).
  • Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
    Produced by the Getty Information Institute, this thesaurus offers several approaches to identifying geographic-name synonyms.
  • Green's Dictionary of Slang  Icon
    A collection of this often reviled but endlessly fascinating area of the English language, these volumes cover slang from the past five centuries right up to the present day, from all the different English-speaking countries and regions.
  • Grove Art Online  Icon
    A scholarly art encyclopedia covering all aspects of Western and non-Western visual art
  • Grove Music: New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians  Icon
    Now called: Oxford Music Online
  • Kamusi Project: Internet Living Swahili Dictionary
    "The Internet Living Swahili Dictionary is a collaborative work by people all over the world. Together we are working to establish new dictionaries of the Swahili language, both within Swahili and between Swahili and English."
  • Merriam-Webster Online
    Look up a definition, pronunciation, etymology, spelling, or usage point in the WWWebster Dictionary.
  • Middle English Compendium  Icon
    The Middle English Compendium has been designed to offer easy access to and interconnectivity between three major Middle English electronic resources: an electronic version of the Middle English Dictionary, a HyperBibliography of Middle English prose and verse, based on the MED bibliographies, and an associated network of electronic resources.
  • New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online  Icon
    The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd edition, edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume, contains over 1,850 articles by more than 1,500 of the world's leading economists.
  • Ojibwe People's Dictionary
    Some entries have spoken examples.
  • Oxford Art Online  Icon
    Provides access to Grove Art Online, Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.
  • Oxford Classical Dictionary  Icon
    Contains over 6,200 entries. The Oxford Classical Dictionary has been regarded as the unrivalled one-volume reference work on all aspects of the Graeco-Roman world. It provides both scholars and non-specialists with a comprehensive source of reference which aims to answer all their questions about the classical world. The Dictionary provides coverage of Greek and Roman history, literature, myth, religion, linguistics, philosophy, law, science, art and archaeology, and topics in near eastern studies and late antiquity. The approach is interdisciplinary: all areas, regions, and cultures are represented beyond the core areas of Greece and Rome. As well as providing factual information, the Dictionary contains many thematic entries on subjects relevant to the 21st century such as nationalism, race, and ecology. The text is written in an accessible style and all Latin and Greek words have been translated.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography  Icon
    Oxford DNB is a collection of 55,000 specially written biographies, which describe the lives of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond.
  • Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History  Icon
    The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History, edited by Bonnie G. Smith, captures the experiences of women throughout history in a far-reaching, four-volume work. With over 650 biographies of influential women and over 600 topical articles covering topics such as geography and history, culture and society, organizations, movements, and gender studies, Women in World History is the definitive reference work in the field.
  • Oxford English Dictionary  Icon
    OED online.
  • Oxford Language Dictionaries Online  Icon
    OLDO offers fully searchable, completely comprehensive bilingual dictionaries including French-English, English-French, German-English, English-German, Italian-English, English-Italian, Spanish-English, and English-Spanish.
  • Oxford Music Online  Icon
    Includes the Oxford Dictionary of Music, Grove Music Online, and the Oxford Companion to Music.
  • Oxford Reference  Icon
    Multi-part database of the online versions of seminal Oxford University Press texts. Each topical division contains the searchable version of the latest edition of published dictionaries and encyclopedias. Additionally, information about Oxford University Press is provided. Online texts will be updated after new editions of the print monographs are published.
  • Oxford Spanish Dictionary  Icon
    Fully searchable, comprehensive Spanish-English, English-Spanish dictionary, part of Oxford Language Dictionaries Online.
  • Oxford-Duden German Dictionary  Icon
    Fully searchable, comprehensive German-English, English-German dictionary, part of Oxford Language Dictionaries Online.
  • Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary  Icon
    Fully searchable, comprehensive French-English, English-French dictionary, part of Oxford Language Dictionaries Online.
  • Oxford-Paravia Italian Dictionary  Icon
    Fully searchable, comprehensive Italian-English, English-Italian dictionary, part of Oxford Language Dictionaries Online.
  • Pocket Oxford Italian Dictionary (English-Italian)  Icon
  • Pocket Oxford Italian Dictionary (Italian-English)  Icon
  • Pronouncing Dictionary of Music and Musicians
    Pronouncing the titles of classical music and the names of composers and performers is a daunting task for many Americans because so many of the words are foreign to us. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that some of the names that look familiar are not pronounced as we would pronounce them. This dictionary provides some help in the form of pronunciations by a phonetic system devised by E. Douglas Brown of the staff of WOI Radio at Iowa State University. Many of the pronunciations in the dictionary were derived from tape-recorded pronunciations made by foreign nationals who were speaking their respective native languages. Prepared primarily for the announcing staff of WOI, the dictionary has been found useful by them and is being made freely available to others who may find it of value. Although imperfect and far from complete, the dictionary, with its 30,000 entries, is the most extensive of its type now available.
  • Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases
    A straightforward, dictionary-style thesaurus, based on Roget's Thesaurus.
  • STAT!Ref  Icon
    Electronic medical library.
  • Tresor de la Langue Francaise Informatise
    TLFi. Online version of authoritative dictionary of 19th-20th century French language. Offers multiple searching levels: word entry, origin and association.
  • Wordnet
    From Princeton's Cognitive Science Laboratory, Wordnet is an online dictionary that you can explore in different directions, finding words that mean the same, mean the opposite, are more general or more specific, as well as getting a brief definition.

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