I use this German-English dictionary from Babylon. It puts die in front of the German word Jahrtausend from which I infer the word is feminine, but it is neuter in other dictionaries.


Is there any reason/explanation for that?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about the German language. Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 22:48
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    It may be because there is Tausend in neuter and there is Tausend in feminine, as in "the number 1000" duden.de/rechtschreibung/Tausend_Zahl. This is how they got it wrong.
    – Dan
    Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 23:16
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    I never heard of a dictionary called Babylon. I feel this is contraindicative to your idea that it was famous. Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 23:18
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    If you are interested in alternatives: reasonably good dictionaries are Leo dict.leo.org/englisch-deutsch and Dict-cc dict.cc Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 23:45
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    The reason that questions are usually questioned here is, that a lot of them show no self-effort. For this question I can only say, that this site is about the German language and your question is about a mistake in a dictionary. While it may be an interesting question, it's unfortunately the wrong place to ask. Commented Nov 4, 2019 at 0:43

1 Answer 1


German compound words take the gender of the rightmost word in the meaning in which is was used to create the compound, e.g. der Elternteil vs. das Fertigteil.

German has two genders for the word "Tausend", depending on the meaning. If an entity consisting of thousand smaller entities is meant, it's neuter.

If we, however, relate to the "number 2000", Tausend becomes feminine. Usage examples:

Trotz heißer Temperaturen kamen am Wochenende an die 1000 Besucher zum Klimaschutz-Aktionstag des Kreises in Bistensee. (note the article doesn't belong to Besucher but to the "1000")

Insgesamt sollen an die 1000 Gefangene freigelassen werden


"Ich habe eine 1 in Mathe bekommen!"

Low budget free online dictionaries seem to employ scripts for gender tagging, in this case based on the "basis" word. As the basis word has two genders, the script appears to have taken on the feminine version of the word with the meaning "number 2000" and applied it to the compound.

On a side note, as for the usage of the said dictionary, I would recommend using the most authoritative sources such as Duden, DWDS or Collins Cobuild/Oxford, who have both the resources to avoid such mistakes and the renowned reputation to care about. Also refer to the list https://german.stackexchange.com/a/9535/9739 (apart from Leo, which sometimes would have weird mistakes confusing people and forcing them to ask on stack exchange, and is in general not quite informative, as it does not cite any usage cases for your enter link description here in question).

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    This is a hypothesis on the genesis of this mistake in the "Babylon" dictionary. It sounds plausible at first. However, if the mistake was produced by a sloppy algorithm, it should repeat. The entry for Jahrhundert though states correctly das Jahrhundert, see: Same for das Jahrzehnt. And even the much rarer Jahrfünft is correctly reported as das, see So, how does this fit into the hypothesis of die Jahrtausend being algorithm-generated? Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 10:05
  • This answer is not correct. We say “an die 1000 Besucher” not because “1000” is (supposedly) feminine, but because “Besucher” is plural. It is like “Wo sind die fünf Kinder?”.
    – fdb
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 15:12
  • @fdb I think it is hard to decide where the die in an die tausend Besucher comes from. Why are you so convinced that Dan's idea is wrong? Do you have arguments for it? (I mean, not only that your idea is also possible; rather, why your idea is more plauble than Dan's?) Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 15:27
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    @ChristianGeiselmann. To begin with: you yourself write "tausend" (numeral) not "Tausend" (noun)..
    – fdb
    Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 15:37
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    @fdb Spelling conventions are not necessarily proof of underlying semantic or syntactic structure. Commented Nov 5, 2019 at 17:05

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