What Spanish dictionary should I use? 7 online dictionaries you need to know

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What Spanish dictionary should I use?

One of the most frequent questions I get from my students when they start studying Spanish is about dictionaries, which should be used as an alternative to the usual Google Translate. And depending on your need for the language, you can find more than one dictionary. In addition, there are many Internet options; some focus on Spanish regionalisms, others on legal, medical, or engineering terminology, and others even focus on colloquial terms.

So, instead of recommending just one dictionary, I leave you a list of dictionaries I use as an online Spanish teacher during my Spanish classes, which have given me outstanding results. 

I hope they help you as much as I do.


Starter dictionary

It can be difficult for beginners to use a dictionary entirely in Spanish, so I recommend you go for a dictionary and translator. But try to avoid using Google Translate as much as possible, as it doesn’t provide context when translating words. In my opinion, here you have better options for a dictionary and translator Spanish – English are: 

1. SpanishDict 

This Spanish dictionary is just great and one of my favorites, and I always use it in my online classes. SpanishDict not only gives you the word you are looking for but also gives you examples so that you understand how to use it in context.

In addition, you can find recorder lessons, activities, worksheets, and more by paying the premium subscription, which is worth it. 

2. Deepl

Deepl is a very accurate translator for paragraphs and texts. Still, the problem with translation tools is that the translations are only sometimes entirely accurate, mainly when translating idioms or Slang. However, it is an excellent alternative to Google Translate. You can click on the translated words, and the program gives you other equally valid options. 

spanish, dictionary, body parts, spanish, me duele, cuerpo humano

Intermediate levels and advanced dictionary

For intermediate and advanced levels, I recommend using a dictionary entirely in Spanish, such as the following ones:

3. RAE (Real Academia Española)

RAE provides you with officially recognized words in the Spanish language. If you doubt a phrase in Spanish or are unsure about the existence of a word or its correct spelling. Then this dictionary can answer your questions. You can also find sections on grammar and spelling. Moreover, if you need more clarification about a word in Spanish, they have a profile on Twitter where they answer your grammar questions. You can always write to #dudaRAE.

4. WordReference

The WordReference dictionary and language forum is the largest bank of knowledge and advice on English and other languages. If you have a question about language use, search the hundreds of thousands of previous questions first. Then, if you are still unsure, you can ask the question yourself. Native speakers from all over the world will answer your questions. 


5. Forvo

Forvo is a Spanish dictionary where you can learn and practice pronunciation. There are several tools for articulation on the Internet, but this website is fascinating. If you need more clarification about the pronunciation of a word, go with this dictionary, write down your comment, and a bank of audio records will appear. The best part is that with Forvo, you can find the Spanish and Latin American accents of the words separately. 


Diccionarios.com is a Spanish dictionary of Larousse Editorial, which publishes dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference works under the Larousse and Vox brands. In addition, it has specialized dictionaries (medical and encyclopedic dictionaries). Access requires the promotional code with the paper dictionaries, but the free part offers good definitions in English, French, and Spanish. 

expresiones, chilenas

Dictionary for Slang in Spanish  

7. Hispanic Slang

For chilenísmos and colloquial words, you have this dictionary that works quite well. You can do four types of searches; by exact words or phrases, by keywords, by searching in the definitions, and finally, can search for terms by country. To use it, you have to create a profile.

What do you think? Which dictionary suits you the best?

I would love to read your comments.

If you liked the post, please spread the word to reach more people!

¡Hasta la próxima!


About The Author


Giane was born and raised in Chile, except for the time she moved to Spain and attended university there. She studied Education and Psychology at the University of Barcelona. She started teaching Spanish when she decided to travel around Europe, since then she has not stopped teaching languages.

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