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English Dictionaries Online


Accounting, Business Studies and Economics Dictionary
Find definitions of terms related to accounting, business, and economics. This dictionary will be helpful to those enrolled in any business-related courses.
"A dictionary with all definitions in English, but the ability to search for a word in English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish. Additionally, there is a pronunciation file for each English word."

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed
Online version of the 1996 edition of the popular English language dictionary, featuring over 200,000 entries. Entries include pronunciation guide, definition, and brief etymology. Searchable only (no browsing).

A Basic Dictionary of ASL Terms
A partial dictionary giving signing instructions for commonly used American Sign Language terms.

Cambridge Dictionary of American English
Students and scholars of American English can use this site to search the full text of the Cambridge Dictionary of American English. The dictionary gives full sentence examples of how words are used in American English, and explains thousands of American idioms. Also find here the Advanced Learner's, the Learner's, Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, French/English, and Spanish/English dictionaries.

Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms
Students and scholars of the English language can use this site to search the full text of the Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. The dictionary provides examples of over 7,000 idioms currently used in American, British and Australian English. Includes thousands of example sentences, and etymological information to help readers understand the meanings of the idioms.
Alphabetical listing of commonly used English phrases and expressions. An explanation/definition is given for each expression. Cliches are also indexed by topical category.

A Dictionary of English Slang and Colloquialisms of the UK
"A monster online dictionary of the rich colourful language we call slang... all from a British perspective, with new slang added every month." Also includes a search engine, list of web links, and bibliography of printed resources.

A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names
"This is a concise guide to technical terms and personal names often encountered in the study of philosophy. Although its entries are extremely brief, many of them include links to electronic versions of philosophical texts and to more detailed discussions located elsewhere on this site or in other on-line resources."

Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
This edition of Brewer's "Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" was created from the 1898 edition of the text. They describe it as "Comprising over 18,000 entries that reveal the etymologies, trace the origins and otherwise catalog 'words with a tale to tell.'" Browsable and searchable.
" is the best general English-language dictionary online. Its simple search form hides a sophisticated multi-source search of Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, WordNet, The Free Online Dictionary of Computing, Jargon File, The Elements, Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary, Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary, U.S. Gazetteer, and the CIA World Factbook. Links on's home page lead to thousands of other English dictionaries (including WWWebster Dictionary), jargon dictionaries, writers' dictionaries, non-English dictionaries, and other language resources."

Early Modern English Dictionaries Database
"A collection of eleven bilingual and monolingual dictionaries published in England from 1530 to 1657." Full-text searchable.

Encarta World English Dictionary
"All of Encarta World English Dictionary has been written in the last four years ... Its vocabulary has been newly selected from sources showing how modern English is used internationally, in print and on broadcasts and over the Internet. ... You will find here every kind of language information. Wondering how to pronounce a word? Audio recordings will tell you--aloud. Wondering how to use a word? Usage essays and synonym essays provide detailed discussion and advice. Curious where words and meanings come from? Etymologies and word origin essays show you: peaches from Persia, bungalows from Bengal, jeans from Genoa."

Encyberpedia Dictionary and Glossary
"Complete listing of all the major dictionaries and glossaries on the Internet. Includes everything from sign language, telecommunications, computers, weather, tides, water quality and a lot more." Some annotations.

Hutchinson Dictionary of Difficult Words
Find almost 14,000 words to increase your vocabulary or just find out specific meanings to words you already use. This resource has a European slant.

Hutchinson Dictionary of English Usage
Search more than 1600 entries to find the exact meanings for the words you want. This resource has a European slant and uses British English.

This online dictionary provides word definitions from five separate resources: an English dictionary, a computer dictionary, a thesaurus, a dream dictionary and a medical dictionary.

Infoplease: All the Knowledge You Need
Online version of the popular annual Time Almanac. You can browse by topic or search. All-in-one encyclopedia, almanac, dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, and biography reference! Includes the Random House Websters College Dictionary and the Columbia Encyclopedia.

Jargon File Resources
"This page indexes all the WWW resources associated with the Jargon File and its print version, The New Hacker's Dictionary. It's as official as anything associated with the Jargon File gets." The Jargon File has been known as the lexicon of esoteric hackerly words and phrases since at least 1991. The site also includes the history and folklore of hackers. It has a searchable database for jargon terms and also has links to pages that have other versions of search engines to search the text. You can also download the entire text as a compressed gzip file. Medical Dictionary
Online publication "written entirely by physicians but not just for physicians, nurses or allied health professionals. It was designed to be of use to everyone concerned about health -- their health and the health of those that matter to them."

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
An excellent hyperlinked dictionary and thesaurus, based on the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The search engine supports wildcards and right-hand truncation. A help page and pronunciation guide are included.

The Newbury House Dictionary Online
"This online dictionary contains over 40,000 entries and is based on the best selling Newbury House Dictionary of American English. Providing simple and clear definitions, this online tool provides a wealth of sample sentences, idioms, and a wide array of cultural facts and figures. Because this online version is linked to a 50,000 photo database, you can quickly browse through photographs related to your word search." Pronunciation guide is also provided.

The Office Life: Ridiculous Business Jargon Dictionary
"Ever wonder what language your coworkers are speaking?" To help you figure it out, this dictionary provides definitions for over 400 commonly used words and phrases from the world of business jargon.

Online Etymology Dictionary
A free, online dictionary showing the origins of words or "explanations of what our words meant." A good, free alternative to those who do not have a subscription or access to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Sources for the overall work are cited.

The Phrase Finder
This "phrase thesaurus and searchable database of a large collection of English phrases and sayings" can be used to find phrases related to a particular word, learn the meaning of a phrase, or determine the origin of a phrase. Also includes a book list of dictionaries, thesauri, and word phrase and origin books.

Rhyming Dictionary
Enter a word and the server will return a list of words with which your word rhymes, along with synonyms, homophones, and other similar or related words. Also find definitions, quotes, and Shakespearian works containing the word.

Tiscali Reference Phrase Books
This site includes Phrase Finders for German, French, Italian, and Spanish. Each Phrase Finder includes common terms and phrases, along with grammar and pronunciation guides, and translation dictionaries (to and from English). They are especially helpful for travelers and people who are studying these languages.

"VoyCabulary is a powerful web tool which will link web pages or phrases to online references like dictionaries or thesauruses -- This provides a convenient and speedy way to lookup words quickly and efficiently, without disrupting your normal web browsing... If you don't want to process a webpage, but have some text (maybe from a word processor), you may simply cut and paste it into the textbox and VoyCabulary will process it as well." Voycabulary includes an English Dictionary/Thesaurus as well as Medical, Acronym, and Computer dictionaries. Translations are available to and from English to Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Dutch, Swedish, Portuguese, Russian, Hungarian, and Welsh.

Word Spy
This site is focused on new words, old words, and words that are enjoying a renaissance. It features a new word, definition and citation each day and provides background information about the word and its usage.

"WordNet is an on-line lexical reference system whose design is inspired by current psycholinguistic theories of human lexical memory. English nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are organized into synonym sets, each representing one underlying lexical concept. Different relations link the synonym sets." You can search for synonyms, antonyms, hyponyms, troponyms, familiarity, and other relationships. Requires a Java-enabled browser.

Wordsmyth Educational Dictionary-Thesaurus
"Wordsmyth is reference source that meshes the functions of a dictionary and a thesaurus with powerful and flexible search capabilities. The dictionary-thesaurus itself has been designed to emphasize full, supportive usage information in entries, including example sentences and phrases, and indicators of context and grammar. It offers extensive crossreferencing, too; for each meaning of a word, lists of synonyms and similar words are provided, each hyperlinked to its own, precise definition." Wordsmyth offers several kinds of searches, including searches for synonyms and similar words, and searching definitions to find a word. Several other features of interest to students, educators, and linguists are also available, including Words of the Week, a monthly newsletter, and a Cross Word Puzzle Solver.

WriteExpress Online Rhyming Dictionary
An online rhyming dictionary that matches beginning or end rhymes.