Dictionaries & Thesauri

Dictionaries contain brief descriptions of a word or concept, and provide standards for its spelling and usage. They can be comprehensive, or technical, for example, limited to a subject or language.

Thesauri provide synonyms and antonyms for words and phrases, which often can help you to refine word choice when writing, or target better terms for information-seeking during research.

Dictionaries and thesauri often contain additional information, such as word histories and examples of proper grammar. The online versions often have add-ons for your web browser for quick lookups, bookmarking and more.

UCSD Only Resources with this icon may be accessed through on-campus computers, including those located in the Libraries. However, off-campus access is restricted to current UCSD students, faculty, and staff.


English Language Dictionaries Abbreviations, Slang & Visual Dictionaries Other Languages and Translators Subject Dictionaries Other Useful Items

MAJOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE DICTIONARIES & THESAURI *
Oxford English Dictionary UCSD Only
Oxford Reference Online UCSD Only
Webster’s Third New International Dictionary UCSD Only
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus
Roget’s International Thesaurus of English Language Words & Phrases
Wordsmyth Dictionary & Thesaurus

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ABBREVIATIONS, SLANG & VISUAL DICTIONARIES *
Green's Dictionary of Slang UCSD Only
Urban Dictionary
Govspeak: a Guide to Government Acronyms & Abbreviations
Abbreviations Dictionary UCSD Only
Acronym Finder
Symbols.com: Online Encyclopedia of Western Signs & Ideograms
Visual English Dictionary
Tomfolio: Author Pseudonyms, Pen Names, etc.

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OTHER LANGUAGES & TRANSLATORS *
Oxford Reference Online: Bilingual Dictionaries UCSD Only
YourDictionary.com: Foreign Language Online Dictionaries
Wordreference.com: Online Language Dictionaries
From Language to Language Multilingual Dictionary
Handspeak: a Practical Sign Language Dictionary
UsingEnglish.com: Resources for ESL
Google Translate

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SUBJECT DICTIONARIES & THESAURI *
Oxford Reference Online: Subjects UCSD Only
Dictionary of the Social Sciences UCSD Only
Oxford Dictionary of Critical Theory UCSD Only
Dictionary of Cultural & Critical Theory UCSD Only
Dictionary of Education UCSD Only
Dictionary of Linguistics & Phonetics UCSD Only
Dictionary of Psychology UCSD Only
Dictionary of Philosophical Terms & Names
Dictionary of Sociology UCSD Only
Dictionary of Statistics UCSD Only
Greenwood Dictionary of World History UCSD Only
NOLO’s Free Dictionary of Law Terms and Legal Definitions UCSD Only
OECD Economics Glossary UCSD Only
Oxford Concise Companion to the Theatre UCSD Only

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OTHER USEFUL ITEMS *
Columbia Gazetteer UCSD Only
Computer User High Tech Dictionary
Stedman’s Medical Dictionary UCSD Only
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms UCSD Only

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*Partial listings. There are many, many dictionaries. To find specialized ones for a country, topic or discipline, use the following technique:

  • Go to the UC, San Diego Libraries catalog (Roger), and set the drop-down to do a ‘General Subjects’ search. Enter your country, topic or discipline, followed by a space, and the word ‘dictionaries,’ then do your search.

Example:  archaeology dictionaries

Roger Subject Search

And you will find many in our collections, both print and electronic:

Roger Subject Search Result


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