Dilit Italian School

The best Italian dictionaries online

You should always have a dictionary on hand. It is the most useful tool, if it is clear, easy to understand and complete. This is the main point of reference, when we face the study of a language. There is a vast array of offers on the Internet and they are free of course. You know the dictionaries from Italian to your language and the other way around better than I do. This idea, however, is dedicated to those who feel like trying to use an Italian-Italian dictionary. That is, dictionaries used by Italians. This experience is probably less dramatic than you think, although, obviously, you need a little bit of experience of this language.

Here we refer to some dictionaries that we believe have most correspondence in line with the above criteria: clear, easy to use and complete. 

  1. treccani.it/vocabolario/

    This dictionary has been developed by the Treccani Institute. As you can read in its introduction: “The Institute’s objective is to complete, update, publish and widen the use of the "Italian Encyclopedia of Science, Letters, and Arts", started by the Giovanni Treccani Institute, and the works anyhow linked to it, or referring to its experience, especially for the development of humanistic and scientific culture and for educative, research and social service needs as well. Because of its cultural importance, its President is appointed by the President of the Italian Republic”.

    It certainly is the most prestigious and authoritative source.

    Its page looks very simple. You will find a search box. When you digit the word, you are looking for, you will see a list of items that help you to be more precise in your research: you can decide between dictionary, encyclopedia, synonyms and contraries and others. The students of our school, who have tried it, have noticed only one problem. It is too complete in such a way that all the proposed solutions can create confusion. This can become a problem, rather than a solution.

  2. CorrieredellaSera.it

    This is Il Corriere della Sera, an historical Italian daily newspaper. We have talked about it in this article, where you can find a dictionary Sabatini-Colletti, long time authors and researchers with great competence.

    Here is its introduction: the only dictionary that follows the whole itinerary, from word, to sentence, to text. An Italian dictionary that is used not only to check the exact orthography and the exact pronunciation of words or to know the meaning of those you cannot understand, but even more often to check the exact construction of sentences and to help you to choose the right sentence according to criteria of communicative efficiency. It follows more the criteria introduced at the beginning, than the previous dictionary. Moreover, the Sabatini-Colletti considers and defines the lexicon of both common and special interest Italian and of traditional literature. Its authors continue to check the Italian language actually used and its mutations and they are acknowledged as absolute authorities in their field”.

    You can find the search box by words and by alphabetical letters as well. Also, on the page where there is the word you have been looking for, you will find, on top of its explanation, a list of words linked to it.

  3. Repubblica.it

    This is another important daily newspaper we have already talked about in the article dedicated to newspapers. It avails itself of the work of another famous author, Aldo Gabrielli, with his Grande Dizionario, published by Hoepli

    In its introduction you can read:

    • 500 000 items, meanings and definitions
    • Synonyms, antonyms, etymologies
    • Words of scientific terminology, from information technology to economics
    • Regional words, dialects, slang and colloquial words in the common language
    • Foreign words and locutions in everyday language
    • Archaic and literary terms
    • Neologisms and new meanings of words of the traditional linguistic heritage


  4. www.Sapere.it

    This is the website of the publishing house De Agostini, which has always been dedicated to scholastic texts, encyclopedias and dictionaries.

    On this page, you can find not only the Italian-Italian dictionary, but also Italian-English, Italian-German, Italian-French, Italian-Spanish, Italian-Portuguese, Italian-Polish, Italian-Tagalog, Italian- Albanese and Italian-Turkish. 

    These dictionaries are the most used by our students, that is why they have been quoted.

Translation websites

They deserve a special section. By now you can find some which are of good quality and can be useful to people who are just beginning to study this language; or if you don’t need to translate only one word, but a group of words or a sentence.

  1. Google translate: a Google website that provides this service in 97 languages. You also have the possibility to listen to the word pronunciation, both in Italian and in the other language, thanks to a specific icon for sound, while another icon provides the keyboard in the language you wish or, for some languages, the opportunity to write by hand. A great service.
  2. Traduttore.it: translation service in 52 languages. Sound not available.

There are many others, but they are not presented in this article, for the only reason that they haven’t been tested by our students or by our teachers.

Here are good tools for those who want to maintain the Italian language they have studied, even though they are far from Rome or from Dilit.

Also go and read the other articles on our website, to get good ideas about how to learn Italian in a convenient and fast way and reinforce what you have already learned as well.

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