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Research Guides

Arabic Resources: Dictionaries

This guide emphasizes materials in Arabic or materials relevant to the Arab world that require explanations.


Wehr, Hans, 1909-
            A dictionary of modern Arabic / Hans Wehr ; edited by J. Milton Cowan. 3rd ed. Weisbaden : Harrassowitz, 1979
Suzzallo Reference stacks
PJ6640.W43 1979
This is the standard dictionary for modern Arabic. Other editions are available in OUGL and Suzzallo stacks.

Lane, Edward William, 1801-1876
            An Arabic-English lexicon derived from the best and the most copious eastern sources. In two books: the first containing all the classical words and significations commonly known to the learned among the Arabs; the second, those that are of rare occurence and not commonly known. Book I. London and Edinburgh, Williams and Norgate, 1863-93. 8v. in 4 ; 35 cm.
Suzzallo Reference stacks, Suzzallo stacks
PJ6640.L3 1863e
The standard dictionary for the classical period. Lane died around Qaf of the commonly known words.  After Qaf, the number of entries substantially declines.  He did not address rare occurences.  Remeber there is an additional section of entries for Qaf through Ya at the end of volume 8. 

For downloadable pdf version of Lane, go to: or

Dozy, Reinhart Pieter Anne, 1820-1883
            Supplement aux dictionnaires arabes, par R. Dozy. Beyrouth, Librairie Liban, 1968
Suzzallo stacks
PJ6645.F6 D6 1968
A supplement to Lane, based on Dozy's research. It is Arabic-French. It has more vocabulary from Hispano-Arabic works than Lane.

Hava, J.G.
            al-Faraid al-durriyah fi al-lughatayn al-Arabiyah wa-al-Inkiliziyah Arabic-English dictionary. 3rd Ed. Beirut, Catholic Press [1970]
PJ6640.H3 1970
This is a good dictionary for words not found in Wehr or Lane. There are other editions in the libraries - check under Hava, J.G.

Hinds, Martin
            A dictionary of Egyptian Arabic : Arabic-English / Martin Hinds ; El-Said Badawi. Beirut : Librairie du Liban, c1986
Suzzallo Reference stacks
PJ6795.H56 1986
This is a major colloquial dictionary. Colloquial Arabic may appear in modern fiction.

Steingass, Francis Joseph, 1825-1903
            The student's Arabic-English dictionary : Companion volume to the author's English-Arabic dictionary / by F. Steingass. London : W.H. Allen, 1884. xvi, 1242 p. ; 23 cm
Suzzallo stacks
Entries are arranged in alphabetical order instead of by root. This dictionary is helpful for hard to find words.

For unusual words in classical works, also consult Steingass's Persian dictionary:
Steingass, Francis Joseph, 1825-1903
            A comprehensive Persian-English dictionary : including the Arabic words and phrases to be met with in Persian literature.
Suzzallo Reference stacks, Suzzallo stacks
PK6379 .S7 1930

Worterbuch der klassischen arabischen Sprache / unter Mitwirkung der Akademien der Wissenschaften in Gottingen, Heidelberg und Munchen und der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur in Mainz herausgegeben durch die Deutsche Morgenlandische Gesellschaft ; begrundet von Jorg Kraemer und Helmut Gatje ; in Verbindung mit Anton Spitaler bearbeitet von Manfred Ullmann.
Wiesbaden : Otto Harrassowitz, 1970-
Suzzallo Reference stacks
PJ6645.G5 W67 1970

Authors of Arabic dictionaries have frequently died when writing the entries for the letter Qaf. To make up for that problem, this dictionary begins with the letter Qaf. Although it is in German, it include short definitions in English.

Advanced Dictionaries

No Arabic-English, Arabic-French or any other such dual language dictionary is comprehensive.  These are the next group of dictionaries to use when pursuing unusual words.


Biberstein-Kazimirski, Albert de, 1808-1887. Qamus al-lughatayn al-Arabiyah wa-al-Faransawiyah. Dictionnaire arabe-francais, contenant toutes les racines de la langue arabe, leurs derives, tant dans l'idiome vulgaire que dans l'idiome lit[t]eral, ainsi que les dialectes d'Alger et de Maroc. Beyrouth, Librairie du Liban [1970?]. 2 v.
Suzzallo Stacks
PJ6645.F6 B5 1970


Blachere, Regis, 1900-1973. Dictionnaire arabe-francais-anglais (langue classique et moderne) Arabic/French/ English dictionary, par Regis Blachere, Moustafa Chouemi et Claude Denizeau. Paris, G.-P. Maisonneuve et Larose [c1967- v. 28cm
Suzzallo Reference
PJ6635 .D52
so far, there are 4 v.


Elias, Elias A. (Elias Antoon). al-Qamus al-madrasi, Arabi wa-Inkilizi, [Inkilizi wa-Arabi] talif Ilyas Antun.  The school dictionary, Arabic-English English-Arabic. al-Tabah al-ashirah.  10th ed. Misr, al-Matbaah all-Asriyah [bi-dun tarikh, n.d.]. 2 v. in 1. illus. 21 cm
Suzzallo Stacks
PJ6640 .E618


Freytag, G. W. Arabic-Latin lexicon / Georg Wilhelm Freytag. Piscataway, NJ : Gorgias Press, 2007. 4 v. ; 28 cm.
Suzzallo Reference
PJ6637 .F74 2007.


Hava, J. G. al-Faraid Arabic-English dictionary / J.G. Hava. Beirut : Catholic Press, 1964.
Suzzallo Stacks, OUGL Stacks
PJ6640 .H3 1964


Ibn Manzur, Muhammad ibn Mukarram, 1232-1311 or 12. Lisan al-Arab / lil-Imam ibn Manzur ; nassaqahu wa-allaqa alayhi wa-wadaa faharisahu Ali Shiri. Bayrut, Lubnan : Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1988.
18 v. in 16
Suzzallo Stacks
PJ6620 .I154 1988
Arabic-Arabic reference dictionary.


Murtada al-Zabidi, Muhammad ibn Muhammad, 1732 or 3-1791. Taj al-arus. Banghazi, Libya, Dar Libiya [1966]. 10 v.
Suzzallo Folio
PJ6620 .M85 1966
This is the dictionary of last resort.  It is arranged according to medieval tradition—in rhyming order, i.e. by root letters in reverse.  For example, the root letters k-t-b would be filed by b, t, k.



Electronic Dictionaries

Near East and Jewish Studies Librarian

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