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Spanish dictionary: The best online tools

spanish dictionary the best online tools

A decent dictionary is necessary to have on hand when learning a language. The top Spanish dictionaries that are accessible online will be examined in this guide.

Spanish dictionaries

spanish spanish dictionaries

I recommend utilizing a Spanish-Spanish dictionary if you’ve been learning the language for a time and feel up to it. This is what a Spanish person would do to find out the meaning of a word. Instead of a word’s English translation, you will find its Spanish definition here, which will speed up learning the language and expand your vocabulary.

Try out a Spanish-Spanish dictionary if you’ve never used one. The process will be simpler and clearer than you anticipate. The top resources for using as an online dictionary are listed below:


This dictionary, which was developed by the Treccani Institute, is unquestionably the most prestigious and trustworthy source. It is not a difficult page. A list of alternatives shows after you type the search term into the search box, and you can select the most pertinent result from it.

Additionally, you will have access to search engines that let you look up words in dictionaries, encyclopedias, synonyms, and other locations. It occasionally can be so thorough that it’s perplexing, though.

Il Corriere della Sera

The daily newspaper Il Corriere della Sera is published in Spain. You can find the Sabatini-Colletti dictionary on their website. Its authors are acknowledged as the foremost experts in their subject. This is an excellent tool if you want to move from a word to a phrase to a text; you can use it to check how sentences with the words you’re interested in are put together.

It is incredibly complete, understandable, and simple to use.

La Repubblica

Another significant daily newspaper in Italy is called Repubbica. On its website, you can purchase the Grande Dicxionario, a book by renowned author Aldo Gabrielli that Hoepli released.

In its introduction, it lists:

  • 500 000 terms, definitions, and objects
  • etymologies, antonyms, and synonyms
  • from economics to information technology, scientific jargon
  • dialects, colloquial, slang, and regional words in the common tongue
  • foreign words and expressions used in common speech
  • literary and dated terms
  • New word meanings and neologisms that draw on the language of the past

Dual-language dictionaries

It all depends on your original tongue when it comes to multilingual dictionaries, of course! If you’ve been learning Spanish for some time, I’m confident that you’ve searched the web for the greatest dictionaries accessible in your language. I’ll include some of the top Spanish-English sites below:


One of the most well-known multilingual dictionaries on the web is this one. It provides Spanish definitions as well as Spanish-English and Spanish-Spanish dictionaries. In addition, they have a helpful forum where you may ask questions if you need help understanding something or finding something. There is a smartphone app available.

Collins English-Spanish dictionary

An easy-to-use internet tool. Finding what you’re looking for is as simple as typing the term into the search box! A thesaurus and translation tool is also provided.

Oxford Spanish dictionary app

Available for both iOS and Android download. You can download the app’s 450,000 total translations of 300,000 words and phrases and access them wherever you are, offline, after downloading the free trial version (available only online).

Translation tools

translation tools in learning spanish

These merit their section. Tools for translation can be highly helpful and time-saving when learning Spanish for the first time. The most used ones for Spanish are:

Google Translate

Who doesn’t know Google translate? This tool provides translation into 97 languages. Here you can also listen to the pronunciation of words in Spanish language and other languages. With a specific icon, you’ll also be able to use the keyboard in the language you wish, which is very useful for writing special characters or accents!

Traduttore. it

52 different language translation services. There is no sound available.

Contextual dictionaries

There are a lot of other translation tools online, but something is even more fascinating. These are referred to as contextual dictionaries and are highly intriguing mashups of dictionaries and translation software. Here, you can insert word groups and brief sentences in the language combination of your choice (Spanish-English, Spanish-Spanish, Spanish-German, etc.).

The contextual dictionary will search a database of translated texts for results and, as you may imagine from its name, display the result in context. These are excellent resources for discovering idioms, everyday expressions, and word meanings in context. The best are:


The most popular and reliable online contextual translation tool is this one. It offers a range of services and is easy to comprehend and utilize. It offers a variety of uncommon tongues, such as Turkish, Japanese, and Hebrew, in addition to the principal European languages.

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. To always have it with you, you may also download a free app for it to your smartphone.


A free program that is strikingly similar to Reverso is provided by rival Linguee. On the same website, there is a functional translation tool. Reverso provides more features than Linguee, but only when Spanish is combined with the bulk of European languages. I advise using a contextual dictionary if you’ve never done so. They fundamentally change how we acquire new languages and communicate!

Helpful resources

Here are the dictionaries and other tools I’ve found to be most useful.

Built-in computer dictionary (Apple computers)

I’ve turned on the Oxford Paravia Il Dizionario inglese – Spanish/Spanish dictionary on my MacBook, which has a built-in Dictionary app. Now, whenever I come across a word I’m not acquainted with, I simply double-click it to highlight it, then I right-click (or control-click) it to select “Look up.” I’ll start with learning the pronunciation, which is occasionally all I need.

I enjoy reading online newspapers aloud to myself, for instance. However, if I’m unsure which syllable is stressed, I can quickly determine it with two clicks. You can access this computer dictionary whether you’re viewing text online or in an application like Notepad. The app must permit copying and pasting, though. With words lifted from Leggi Con Me, it functions.

The Apple built-in dictionary will identify the verb’s infinitive if you enter a different word, but it will not provide a conjugation table. Only Apple users can access it. If there are materials available for the rest of the world, please let us know in the comments section below.

Using a free online Spanish-English dictionary to copy and paste the text into

The Collins Spanish-English dictionary is currently my preferred standard Spanish dictionary. If you check for any word form, it will provide you with a complete conjugation table in addition to some example sentences and typical combinations (such as “spesso e volentieri”).

When I simply paste a word or phrase into a Google search, I frequently receive more dictionary alternatives as well as a ton of discussion regarding the word’s origin, popular usage, and whether it is only used in certain regions of Italy.

Mobile device dictionaries

I recommend utilizing the Oxford Parvia dictionary if you use a mobile device like an iPhone.

Google Translate

We are aware that this site may contain serious faults. But occasionally, it will work, especially if I need help with more than just a few words and am attempting to understand a large section of material. When I use Google Translate, I frequently double-check to make sure the meaning is still clear by flipping the translation.

Although speaking Spanish in a robotic voice is not how you would choose to do it, at least it indicates where the stress should be placed.

Last but not least, copying and pasting into Reverso’s context section

To locate various scenarios where words or phrases have been translated, this unique website uses artificial intelligence. I can find dozens of examples of a word’s usage if I come across it while reading and want to know how it’s typically used. I also enjoy that I can search for expressions or sentences rather than simply words.

After Ripeti Con Me, I think this is the finest source for me to learn a term or phrase that I can then apply in everyday speech.

When I look up a verb form in Reverso, such as “dovrebbe,”

Just that verb form will be used as examples, but the infinitive (dovere) will also be provided, and clicking an icon on the side will take me to a complete conjugation table. There is a wealth of knowledge regarding the typical use of the term or phrase in Reverso due to the sheer number of examples available.

You can determine whether a word is primarily used in a formal setting such as a courtroom or church or if it is more commonly employed in the context of rough-and-tumble street slang. Knowing this will help you avoid sounding stupid.

If Reverso only provides a few examples, this may be a sign that the word is uncommon, outdated, or specific to a certain area. I can store words I’ve searched as favorites on Reverso. I can switch between seeing the word alone and seeing the sentence I’ve selected as a context example when using my favorites list as flashcards.

I have to cover up the Spanish on the left with a piece of paper so that I can only see the English prompt, making it less effective than real flashcard software. But it does the trick, and I’ve used it to reinforce my memory of dozens of words.

The instances that Reverso’s artificial intelligence selects are occasionally so absurd that they generate intriguing graphics on their own. For instance, I found the following when I searched for “polpetta”:

You want to compromise your virtue for a joke. You were prepared to give up your moral integrity for a meatball. Ummm. Okay, let’s look at another example. The verb “color” can mean a variety of things depending on the context, including drain, pour, drip, ooze, and run.

But Reverso’s AI combed through the literature and provided me with this unforgettable picture:

Navigando sul sangue che fai colare.

Cruising on the blood you cause to drip.

On the negative side, translators occasionally err by not translating words for words, which makes for poorer examples. It has been simple for me to decide which instances to disregard or flag as poor quality for Reverso.

Reverso also has a computer app, which I tried but ultimately felt it was easier to use the website instead. I also use the iPhone app.

Last thoughts

last thoughts in learning through spanish dictionaries

One other thing about using these sites is to learn Spanish pronunciation.

Therefore, we must use the pronunciation instructions provided in dictionaries or employ machine voices. I suggest listening to Stefano to get a hold of the precise sounds that match the dictionary pronunciation instructions. Then check how the sounds are written in the dictionary.

Two things: A’mark is placed before the accented syllable to denote stress indicators. The vowels “vs. e” and “vs. o” indicate whether a vowel is open or closed. Bene [bne] and cotto [ktto] are two examples of words that feature both open and closed variants of the same vowel.

There are a few unique symbols, such as the “sh” sound in scena, the “gn” sound in legno, and the “gli” sound in figlia. Except for the “y” sound (such as in ieri), which is transcribed as a “j,” the rest are reasonably self-explanatory. Some tools, like Reverso, read the word aloud instead of providing written pronunciation guidance. It’s not perfect, but it can somewhat assist.

For instance, I occasionally pondered how to pronounce Spanish terms that were derived from English. In place of the perfectly good Spanish word “seguace,” which is still applicable to followers of religions, leaders, etc., examples of these modern Spanish words include “privacy” and “follower,” which are used in the context of social media users.

Will my English accent make me seem foolish when I pronounce those words in Spanish? Are these words pronounced in a Spanish accent because Stefano has a Spanish accent? You may hear how a Spanish robot pronounces those words by typing them into Google Translate or Reverso, which is different from how an American robot pronounces them.

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