When learning Spanish, it’s critical that you have a good dictionary, among other important language learning resources, to maximize your learning and become fluent in Spanish in as little time as possible. Whether you are just beginning to grasp the Spanish language or are close to becoming an expert on it, a Spanish dictionary is a must!
Luckily, you no longer have to lug around a huge paper dictionary wherever you go. Instead, you can simply head to an online Spanish dictionary website and have its resources right at your fingertips. The best part of using online dictionaries to look up the Spanish words you don’t know is that they are 100% free to use. That said, there are many online Spanish-to-English dictionaries out there, so sifting through them all can be a little tricky. That’s why we’ve created this guide to the best Spanish dictionary available on the Internet, as well as its contenders.
Here is a list of the 9 best online resources so you can decide which Spanish dictionary is right for you!
The Best Spanish Dictionary on the Internet
Without a doubt, one of the most important tools for teaching yourself a foreign language is an online dictionary. Throughout my journey learning Spanish, I saved a lot of time and money over the years using these awesome free resources. Spanish vocabulary lists and cheat sheets can be incredibly useful – especially for revision (although flashcard apps like MosaLingua are even handier and more effective!). But they aren’t the most user-friendly. With a dictionary, you can find not only the definition of a new word, but you can better understand its meaning and context thanks to the examples given.
SpanishDict is an extremely accessible online dictionary that has a clean, sleek interface, making it a leading tool for those learning Spanish.
Besides their Spanish-to-English dictionary, SpanishDict also has a great conjugation tool, a word-of-the-day feature, quizzes, easy-to-understand grammar lessons, and more. It’s also a neat resource for people who want to try their hand at interactive Spanish word games.
SpanishDict gives you audio recordings of each word so that you can learn how to pronounce the Spanish words you look up. Make sure to bookmark this one so that you can pull it up easily any time you need to look up a word!
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And Some Other Good Online Spanish Dictionaries…
Just because we love SpanishDict doesn’t mean that you will, or that it is necessarily best suited to your needs. Here are some other great Spanish dictionaries. Test them out and see what you prefer!
This Spanish dictionary is often considered to be the authority on the Spanish language. However, as a Spanish language learner, you’ll find that their online dictionary provides an extremely simple dictionary lookup that makes it ideal for daily use.
On the same website, you may also be interested in checking out the Diccionario panhispánico de dudas, a webpage dedicated to questions on Spanish word usage between the different Spanish-speaking regions and countries. Some of the top Royal Spanish Academies from every Spanish-speaking country provide answers.
One thing that most traditional Spanish dictionaries lack is the use of slang. If you want to learn Spanish so that you can immerse yourself in a Spanish-speaking country, learn a little slang. Knowing a few Spanish slang words will allow you to converse more fluidly. Sound less like a robot and more like a local! This is why tuBabel is so useful and is considered the best dictionary of Spanish slang. It is similar to Urban Dictionary, just in Spanish!
Click a flag to explore slang words from various Spanish-speaking countries. You’ll really impress your conversation partner if you bring up a specialized phrase from their country in conversation. Bonus: there’s even a section on Spanglish!
This website is only available in Spanish. So, you’ll already have to know a bit if you want to be able to use it effectively.
This dictionary goes in the polar opposite direction as tuBabel. If you are taking a Spanish university course or a Spanish night class, this is an ideal resource for you. It is filled with phrases and terms to help writers and students avoid errors in both academic and non-academic writing. Using this dictionary to brush up on your Spanish writing skills is sure to boost your performance! It is also great for anyone who needs to use Spanish for business.
This vocabulary genie is useful, comprehensive and adapted to everyone – from professional translators to casual learners. What’s great is they give you far more than a definition. Once you type in a word or phrase, the site gives you the definition, a recording of it being spoken, a few examples and compound words. For example, the entry for corazón (heart) will also turn up presna del corazón (gossip magazine).
Best of all, you can join or visit the forum posts on that word. Nearly every entry has at least one forum thread populated by native speakers, translators, and students. While it’s a great one-stop-shop, WordReference earns its spot as the ultimate resource if you still need help understanding that word or phrase. You can even use it on your iPhone on Android with their free dictionary app!
With a lot of the same features as WordReference, Oxford’s online Spanish dictionary earns its spot thanks to its conciseness and ease of use. It offers a monolingual Spanish dictionary complete with examples and compound words. And, like El Mundo, you have the option to translate either a Spanish word into English or an English word into Spanish, except with a 100% English interface.
While this site is in French (Larousse is the French equivalent of Webster’s or Oxford for English), their online bilingual English-Spanish dictionary is a great tool for English speakers. Not even half a scroll down their homepage, you will find their dictionnaires bilingues, which, you guessed it, are their bilingual dictionaries. Simply search for a Spanish (or English) word, and the dictionary will give you the translation, a few compound phrases, and its linguistic breakdown (e.g. transitive, masculine/feminine).
Don’t let the fact that this is a French site turn you away! Here, start with an entry for one of MosaLingua’s favorite words 🙂
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And to round out our list, here is a multilingual dictionary best suited to advanced learners. While it does feature simple translations, where it really shines is its plethora of examples. And here’s the thing, their examples come from real-life translations from all over the web.
Personally, I’ve found Linguee to be the most helpful when I’m writing in Spanish. If you’re unsure of how to use a phrase, simply type your word into their search bar. You’ll see how professional translators (including from organizations such as the EU and UNESCO) have translated it. Linguee works best with phrases and compound words.
That’s our list of the best online Spanish dictionaries, as well as the contenders that fell close behind. We hope that this article was useful to you and your Spanish language learning efforts! If you know of another online Spanish dictionary that should be on this list, feel free to mention it in the comments section. And for more language hacks and tricks, subscribe to our newsletter!
Edit: The following Spanish dictionary doesn’t seem to be available anymore, which is a real shame! We’re keeping an eye out in case it comes back online.
The website of the famous Spanish newspaper El Mundo (which also includes videos and articles you can use to learn) has its own online Spanish dictionary. This may not be the best Spanish dictionary on the Internet, but it definitely comes close. The main reason this site finds itself on our list is due to its completeness. It offers definitions, sure. But it also can give you antonyms, synonyms, examples, and translations.
Besides this, Los Diccionarios has a French-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-French translation tool for those of you who speak French. Lastly, if you are a healthcare professional who wants to learn Spanish for your job, this website has a special dictionary for medical terms.