Online dictionaries

Look it up

Here are some online dictionaries, thesauri, etc. you may find useful, with links to give you direct access:


  • Collins German Dictionary
    A tried-and-tested classic, this has long been our choice among medium-sized bilingual dictionaries. 
  • Leo,, Beolingus
    These were motivated by the idea of sharing information at no cost. They can be useful resources - particularly if you follow the tips below.

Not even the best dictionary deserves blind trust - and it can't possibly know what exactly you want to say. So always

  • check if the the context is right (e.g. try using Leo's filters under "Suchoptionen");
  • check the usage of suggested translations (e.g. by looking them up  the other way round, and/or googling them). 
  • Linguee 
    A combination of dictionary and search engine, based on a large corpus of translated texts. See how others have handled the same translation problem and pick the solution you like best.
  • IATE
    The EU's mulilingual term base: if it's used in the EU institutions, you'll find it in there. As that is no small matter, it's well worth consulting the "Help" section before your first search.


  • Collins English Dictionary and English Thesaurus
    A standard UK reference reseource
  • Merriam Webster 
    The American classic, comprising a general dictionary, a thesaurus, a medical dictionary and an encyclopedia, as well as plenty of other attractive features.
  • TheFreeDictionary
    In addition to a general dictionary (based on the well-known American Heritage Dictionary), this offers specialised medicallegal and financial dictionaries (all US-based), as well as sections on acronyms and idioms.

... nor are they free. Still, we wouldn't want to do without them:

  • Langenscheidt Muret-Sanders Großwörterbuch Englisch (4 volumes, incl. CD-Rom)
    With a total of over 770,000 translations, this is the most comprehensive G-E/E-G dictionary available. Read more.
  • Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary (1 volume, incl. CD-Rom)
    We think this is simply the best E-E learner's dictionary of all. The unique COBUILD data base  gives users access to real English. Read more.
    (Collins COBUILD Advanced Dictionary of English is a learner's dictionary App for iPhone and iPad. Read more.)
  • Dietl/Lorenz: Wörterbuch für Recht, Wirtschaft und Politik (2 volumes, G-E/E-G, incl. CD-Rom)
    In our opinion the best of its kind, too - however, the new edition is a long time coming. Read more.