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French dictionary: The best online tools

french dictionary the best online tools

When studying a language, it is essential to have a good dictionary. This post will look at the best French dictionaries available online.

French-French dictionaries

french french dictionaries

You may already be aware that dictionaries and other things are available online. A good French dictionary, on the other hand, needs to be succinct, clear, and thorough. Using a French-French dictionary is advised if you’ve been learning French for some time and feel ready.

French people might do this to ascertain a word’s meaning. You can learn French more quickly and increase your vocabulary by using the French definition of a term in place of its English translation below.

Try using a French-French dictionary if you’ve never done so. You won’t believe how accurate the process will be. The finest sites to use as an online dictionary are as follows:


It is an excellent go-to solution for checking up on words and verb conjugations and seeing every conceivable repetition of a word and the context in which it may be found. Looking up “apple” yields translations in both English and French, as well as for Adam’s apple, apple pie, apple juice, apple of one’s eye, and the Collins dictionary article for “apple.”

Le Dictionnaire français

This dictionary provides definitions in French.

Dictionnaire des Synonymes et des Antonymes français – Synonyms and antonyms are provided in French.


Reverso provides examples of usage, conjugations, and definitions. News headlines, images, and encyclopedias can be quickly searched online. Additionally, you may join their free community to make vocabulary lists, add terms to a user-created dictionary, and keep track of your searches if that isn’t enough.

Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary

This convenient French-English, English-French dictionary for travelers, students, and businesses offers up-to-date translations of 48,000 words and phrases, enhanced by verb tables and pronunciation keys.

Collins-Le Robert Concise French-English Dictionary

It’s challenging to discover a French dictionary app that receives positive feedback outside user evaluations, yet this one frequently appears on lists of the top French dictionaries or must-have apps for French language learners. Even a blog post on my website is about it.

Even in print dictionaries, the Collins-Le Robert is the de facto standard. It has more entries than most other French dictionaries available, though the Android version appears to have more access than the iOS version.

English-French Dictionary by Larousse

It contains more words than the Collins-Le Robert app, which is particularly significant if you’re planning to use your app for reading in French. This is another timeless resource for any contemporary French learner. It’s excellent and quite logical that the word count is the same for the Android and iOS versions.

Grand Tour French Dictionary

This is a decent, straightforward, user-friendly French dictionary app.

Bilingual dictionaries

When purchasing a French dictionary, you should consider your language proficiency as well as the purpose of the dictionary. It’s also crucial to remember that multilingual dictionaries are terrific tools, but they might contain significant and minor inconsistencies.

Their biggest shortcoming is that they need more than used words. The number and quality of entries organize the French-English / English-French dictionaries listed below.

Collins Robert French Unabridged Dictionary

With over 2,000 pages, this is the largest and most significant French-English English-French dictionary. Slang, regionalisms, and phrases are among the entries.

There’s also a section on “language in use,” which organizes words and idioms into categories, including suggestions, guidance, business letters, and much more. This, in my opinion, is the only option for native speakers and translators.

HarperCollins Robert French College Dictionary

The above dictionary has been condensed into 1,100 pages. Appropriate for advanced pupils.

Larousse Concise French-English Dictionary

100,000-entry paperback dictionary, including slang, culture, and more. This dictionary contains all the information intermediate students may require.

Collins Pocket French Dictionary

Excellent essential bilingual dictionary Beginners and tourists can manage with it, but if they use it frequently, they’ll quickly recognize its shortcomings—only it’s big enough for the necessities.

One of the most well-liked multilingual dictionaries online is this one. It provides French definitions as well as English-French and French-English dictionaries. They also provide a useful forum where you may submit questions if you need help understanding or finding something. There is a mobile application accessible.

Translation tools

translation tools in learning french

They deserve their area. When studying French for the first time, time-saving tools for translation can be helpful. French users frequently use:

Google Translate

Who has never heard of Google Translate? This program offers translation into 97 different tongues. Additionally, you can listen to word pronunciations in French and other languages here. You may also use the keyboard in the language of your choice by selecting a specific icon—this is very helpful for writing unusual characters or accents!

It has 52 specific translation services. There is no sound to be heard when using this tool.

Contextual dictionaries

There are many more translation programs online, however, there is something far more exciting. Contextual dictionaries are the name given to these intriguing combinations of dictionaries and translation tools. You can use any language combination to create word groups and brief sentences here (French-English, French-French, French-German, etc.).

Contextual dictionaries examine databases of translated texts for results and provide the findings in context, as you might infer from the name. Idioms, frequent phrases, and word definitions in context can all be learned using these excellent resources. The best are:


The best and most well-known online contextual translation tool is this one. It offers a variety of services and is easy to use and understand. It includes essential European languages and more obscure ones like Turkish, Japanese, and Hebrew.

You can look for synonyms, listen to words being said, and view the language keyboard. The phrase or term you were looking for will keep appearing in various contexts. A free app can also be downloaded to your smartphone to always have it with you.


A remarkably comparable free app is offered by Linguee, a rival of Reverso. The same page also includes a useful translation tool. Reverso is more feature-rich than Linguee but only lets you mix French with the majority of European languages.

If you haven’t yet, consider utilizing a contextual dictionary. The way we learn languages and translate has been dramatically altered by them.

Helpful resources

Here are the dictionaries and other resources that I used the most.

Built-in computer dictionary (Apple computers)

Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, and other languages are supported through free bilingual English dictionaries from Apple. Let’s say you are picking up one of these languages.

Then you can make effective use of these free dictionaries that you can download (or if you are learning English and know any of these languages). These days, whenever I come across a word that I’m not acquainted with, I simply double-click it to highlight it, then right-click (or control-click) it to select “Look up.”

Since sometimes just knowing how to pronounce something is all I need, I’ll start there. For example, I enjoy reading aloud to myself online newspapers. The stressed syllable can be quickly identified with just two clicks, though, if I require further information.

You can browse the text using the internet or a program like Notepad when using this computer dictionary. Though copying and pasting must be supported by the app. Leggi Con Me quotations are effective here.

If you insert a different term, the built-in dictionary on Apple will let you know the verb’s infinitive, but it won’t provide you with a conjugation table. It is only accessible to Apple users. Please inform us in the comments below if resources are available for the rest of the world.

Copying and pasting into one of the free French-English dictionaries available on the web. My current favorite standard French dictionary is the Collins French-English dictionary. When I simply paste a word or phrase into Google, I frequently get more dictionary suggestions and a ton of debate about the word’s history, usage, and whether it is unique to France.

Mobile device dictionaries

Use the Oxford French dictionary on a smartphone like the iPhone.

Google Translate

google translate in learning french

We are aware that this website may contain material inaccuracies. But every now and then, it will work, particularly if I am attempting to comprehend a large amount of material and need aid with more than just a few phrases. I flip the translation while using Google Translate to determine if the message is still clear.


Even though you wouldn’t like to speak French in a robotic voice, it shows where the emphasis should be. Last but far from least: Copying and pasting into the context part of Reverso. This innovative service employs artificial intelligence to track different contexts in which words or phrases have been translated.

If I encounter a word while reading and want to see how it’s frequently used, I can discover dozens of online instances. Instead of only looking for words, I also like looking for phrases or sentences.

When I use Reverso to look up a verb form like “devrait”, there will only be examples of that verb form, but there will also be examples of the infinitive, and clicking an icon on the side will lead me to a comprehensive conjugation table.

Due to the abundance of examples provided, Reverso contains a plethora of information regarding the typical usage of the term or phrase. You can establish whether a word is more frequently used in the context of rough-and-tumble street slang or if it is usually used in a formal setting, such as a courtroom or church.

Knowing this will prevent you from coming out as foolish. If Reverso only offers a few examples, this can mean that the word needs to be more obscure, out-of-date, or regionally specialized. On Reverso, I can save words I’ve looked up as favorites.

When using my favorites list as flashcards, I can toggle between seeing the word by itself and seeing the sentence I’ve chosen as a context example. It’s less efficient than flashcard software since I have to hide the French question on the left with a piece of paper so I can only see the English prompt.

However, it works, and I’ve used it to help me remember dozens of terms. Reverso’s AI read through the books and gave me this enduring image: On the downside, sometimes translators err by not translating words for words, which results in worse examples.

Choosing which instances to ignore or mark as low quality for Reverso has proven simple. Although I tested the Reverso PC software, using the website was simpler. I additionally utilize the iPhone app.

Study using French dictionary now

Now that you have some excellent resources, you can see how using an online French dictionary might benefit your study. Use one of these handy online French dictionaries to learn a new phrase, practice conjugations, see a word in context, or just for fun!

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