When I began learning English, I preferred using Cambridge Dictionary or Macmillan Dictionary to learn vocabulary. This is because they not only explain the meaning of a word in a simple phrase but also they have the functionalities of pronunciation, thesaurus, and example sentences.

For example, when I search for the meaning of learn, then the online dictionary should show a simple phrase that explains what learn is, such as to get knowledge or skill in a new subject or activity.

Moreover, there should be several example sentences regarding which context the word should be used in, for example, I've learned a lot about computers since I started work here or We were told to learn Portia's speech by heart.

Finally, I also expect the pronunciation and the thesaurus for the word.

I'm wondering if there exists an online German dictionary which provides fully functionalities as I described above.

Now, I am using dict.cc for vocabulary and conjugator.reverso.net for the declension. Obviously, I am not satisfied with these two websites due to the lack of functionalities I described above.

  • 3
    Could you elaborate on what functionality you need, exactly? Your question is somewhat confusing because Cambridge / Macmillan are English-English dictionaries, wheras dict.cc is an English-German dictionary. Otherwise: What @Takkat said.
    – Philipp
    Apr 1, 2018 at 21:48

2 Answers 2


The commercial Duden Online site is at first sight promising but tons of adverts including pop-ups or flashing videos with audio make this site almost unuseable. In contrast to their conclusive print media the online version of Duden also considerably lacks content.


I would therefore like to recommend the free-to-use DWDS online dictionary (in German language) which has a scientific background (Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften) and provides incredibly concise informations including audio-samples for pronunciation, word-formation, meaning, meaning in context, usage examples, quotes from newspapers and other sources, etymology, thesaurus, and more.

The correspondig page for lernen is so huge that a screenshot hardly fits here.

enter image description here

For other dictionaries also see:

  • Your suggesting website is exactly what I am looking for! There is only one point I would like to suggest to improve your answer that could you make a link to the phrase Duden Online site? I think it could be more helpful and informative for other guys reading your answer :D Apr 23, 2018 at 17:05
  • 1
    @trdngy: I made a link to our collection of resources which also includes Duden. I avoid links to Duden because of their pollution with aggressive commercials. They told me that they do not have any plans to change that in the near future. Because commercials repeatedly crashed my office computer I consider Duden to be a security risk. I hope you understand.
    – Takkat
    Apr 24, 2018 at 6:29

Most obvious recommendation is the

Duden Deutsches Universalwörterbuch

which is a real brick of nearly 2000 pages.

Attention, do not confuse it with the Duden editions that focus on spelling (as opposed to meaning) and are only about 1/5th the size (speaking of spacial dimensions and mass). You want to large book that concentrates on meaning and gives, as you request, short, but well-phrased explanations, plus sometimes synonyms, antonyms and typical expressions and usage. Earlier editions were called "Duden Universalwörterbuch A-Z".

Or alternatively try

Wahrig Deutsches Wörterbuch

which is a similar product, with similar standing and tradition.

Both should be available for about 50 euros new. You can also find on-screen editions (applications to install on your computer). If 50 euros for a new book is too much, you can look for a used one on one of the platforms for used books, e.g. www.booklooker.de.

One thing you should consider is if you need a book that displays orthography as after the mid-1990s reform. Some people are indifferent towards that reform and are happy with an older edition that has only the pre-reform spelling.

An advantage of a brand-new book (latest edition) is that it will have also the very new words (often in areas such as computer or youth language).

  • 2
    I believe the OP was looking for a recommendation for an online dictionary (which we already have in the Q&A I linked to above).
    – Takkat
    Apr 2, 2018 at 19:34
  • 1
    @Takkat I must concede that your belief is even based on scripture. I did not pay attention to the word "online" there. Well. Anyway, considering buying a book or software edition may still be a good idea. Apr 2, 2018 at 20:31
  • many thanks for your recommendation, @ChristianGeiselmann. As Takkat stated, I am looking for the online version, so I cannot accept your answer as the correct one, but I will vote for it when I get enough reputation :) Apr 8, 2018 at 12:53

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