Latin dictionaries

4 Search­able Latin dictionaries.
Lewis & Short: Latin-Eng­lish dictionary
Smith & Hall: Eng­lish-Latin dictionary
Döderlein’s Hand-book of Latin Syn­onymes
Horae Lati­nae: Stud­ies in Syn­onyms and Syn­tax

About the dictionaries

The fol­low­ing dic­tio­nar­ies are cur­rent­ly avail­able here on

Smith & Hall

Smith, William & Hall, Theophilus D. (1871). A Copi­ous and Crit­i­cal Eng­lish-Latin Dictionary.

The Eng­lish-Latin dic­tio­nary of Smith & Hall, orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in 1871 under the title A Copi­ous and Crit­i­cal Eng­lish-Latin Dic­tio­nary, is wide­ly regard­ed as the best and, with 29 000 head­words, most exten­sive lex­i­con for trans­lat­ing from Eng­lish into Latin ever writ­ten. Thanks to the effort of Johan Winge, it is now, for the first time, avail­able online in a ful­ly dig­i­tized and search­able form, exlu­sive­ly here on Latinitium!

One fea­ture of this dig­i­tal edi­tion that we hope that our read­ers will par­tic­u­lar­ly enjoy is the abil­i­ty to click on any Latin word and be redi­rect­ed to the cor­re­spond­ing arti­cle in Lewis & Short. Sim­i­lar­ly, most of the ref­er­ences are linked to the orig­i­nal text in the Perseus Dig­i­tal Library.

What pri­mar­i­ly sets this dic­tio­nary apart from oth­er Eng­lish dic­tio­nar­ies of the same mag­ni­tude (notably A Copi­ous and Crit­i­cal Eng­lish-Latin Lex­i­con by Rid­dle & Arnold, 1864) is the fact that Smith & Hall spent con­sid­er­able effort on going back to the clas­si­cal texts and reeval­u­at­ing the mean­ing of the Latin words and phras­es in their orig­i­nal con­text. The pro­posed Latin trans­la­tions are sup­port­ed by ref­er­ences to the sources, and com­mon­ly illus­trat­ed with quo­ta­tions, both in Eng­lish trans­la­tion and in the orig­i­nal Latin.

A more in-depth account of the labour that was spent by the authors on this mon­u­men­tal work can be read in the orig­i­nal pref­ace. There they also give an overview of the struc­ture of the dic­tio­nary arti­cles. See also the list of abbre­vi­a­tions of names of authors and their works and a sep­a­rate list of gen­er­al abbre­vi­a­tions.

Lewis & Short

Lewis, Charl­ton T. & Short, Charles. (1849). Harpers’ Latin Dic­tio­nary: A New Latin Dic­tio­nary Found­ed on the Trans­la­tion of Freund’s Latin-Ger­man Lexicon.

The Latin-Eng­lish Dic­tio­nary of Lewis & Short hard­ly needs an intro­duc­tion, for any­one who speaks Eng­lish and stud­ies Latin is like­ly to have con­sult­ed it on sev­er­al occa­sions, either in print, or, per­haps more like­ly these days, using a web site or a smart-phone app.

In order to eas­i­er inves­ti­gate the mean­ing of quot­ed Latin sen­tences, each Latin word is a link to the cor­re­spond­ing dic­tio­nary article.

Horae Latinae: Studies In Synonyms and Syntax

Ogilvie, Robert. (1901). Horae Lati­nae: Stud­ies in Syn­onyms and Syntax.

Here you will find almost 500 Eng­lish words and expres­sions with detailed descrip­tions of how to best ren­der them in Latin, and with copi­ous quotes from clas­si­cal authors illus­trat­ing the usage.

The pro­posed Latin trans­la­tions are linked to the cor­re­spond­ing arti­cles in Lewis & Short.

Döderlein’s Handbook of Latin synonyms

Döder­lein, Lud­wig. (1874). Hand­book of Latin Synonyms.

This is the Eng­lish ver­sion of Lud­wig Döderlein’s Hand­buch der Lateinis­chen Syn­onymik, which is an abridged ver­sion of his mon­u­men­tal 6‑volume Lateinis­che Syn­onyme und Ety­molo­gieen (1826–1838). In 550 arti­cles, the fin­er nuances in mean­ing of near­ly 2 400 Latin words are dis­cussed. The hand­book briefly states the dif­fer­ences between the Latin words while leav­ing out the rea­son­ing and argu­ments for estab­lish­ing them, which are present in the full work. Fre­quent­ly, the arti­cles will end with a link to the full orig­i­nal Ger­man text, for those who are curi­ous to inves­ti­gate the issue further.

Used in con­junc­tion with the oth­er dic­tio­nar­ies here, this is an invalu­able resource for deter­min­ing the dif­fer­ence between appar­ent syn­onyms in Latin. As in the oth­er dic­tio­nar­ies, the Latin words are linked to their cor­re­spond­ing arti­cles in Lewis & Short.

More Latin