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Virtual Reference Desk: Dictionaries & Thesauri


  • English Language Dictionaries
    • American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Includes definitions, pronunciations, etymologies, and feature notes.
    • Collins Dictionaries: Includes a British English and American English search plus multi language dictionaries.
    • Provides "millions" of English definitions, spellings, audio pronunciations, example sentences, and word origins. Its main, proprietary source is the Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Includes slang.
    • English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions: A database of English idiomatic expressions with definitions. Idioms are suggested by the public or by forum members.
    • Merriam-Webster OnLine: Provides a standard dictionary search. Includes a "Medical" tab to search for medical definitions, a thesaurus to find synonyms and Scrabble Dictionary.
    • NOLO Legal Dictionary: A free resource that provides easy to understand information on hundreds of commonly used legal words and phrases.
    • Onelook: A meta search dictionary engine, indexing over 1000 different dictionaries.
    • Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.): Widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language, it is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words, past and present, from across the English-speaking world. Available on campus or by remote authentication.
    • Oxford Reference Online: Full text of over 100 dictionaries, general reference, language reference, and subject reference works from Oxford University Press. Available on campus or by remote authentication.
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations Dictionaries
    • Acronym Database
    • Acronym Finder: The world's largest and most comprehensive dictionary of acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms.
    • Chat Acronyms: Dictionaries of acronyms used on the Internet.
    • Dictionary of Abbreviations: From Oxford Reference Online, it includes over 100,000 abbreviations and acronyms. Available on campus or by remote authentication.
    • Scholar Subject Search for "Acronyms": Limit search results to ebooks by going to "Limit" and choosing "Material Type" > "eBook". Electronic resources available on campus or by remote authentication.
  • Computer-Related Terms
    • Online Slang: An alphabetical list of acronyms, abbreviations, and slang terms used online.
    • Netlingo: Explains thousands of terms that define our life online, including the largest list of chat acronyms.
    • Webopaedia: An online tech dictionary for IT professionals, educators and students.
    • A knowledge exploration and self-education tool about information technology that contains over 7,500 definitions.
  • Multilanguage
  • Online Translators