I'm looking for the German-language equivalent of the Petit Larousse Illustré, and, embarrassingly enough, I can't figure out what keywords to search for it with. Or rather, everything I've tried—illustriertes/bebildertes Wörterbuch/Lexikon, etc—has failed miserably.

(Of course, my failure with this search may stem from the fact that such dictionaries are simply not as common in German as they are in other languages, but I find this impossible to believe.)

BTW, an "illustrated dictionary" (like the Petit Larousse) is an entirely different type of dictionary from a Bildwörterbuch ("picture dictionary")! I have no problem at all finding the latter. In fact, "Bildwörterbücher" is basically all my searches turn up!

Also, from what I've seen, pretty much every German dictionary aimed at school-age children could be described as "illustrated", even though they are never listed as such. The Petit Larousse, however, is not a work designed specifically for children (although I'm sure that children from age, say, 9 or 10 onwards, would have little trouble using it).

EDIT: It seems that, as difficult as it may be to believe, this sort of dictionary is just not produced in the German language anymore, with the possible exception of the Wahrig that splattne mentioned in his answer. (I write "possible exception" because I have not confirmed yet that is indeed still in print). I don't know what to make of this phenomenon.

  • See also german.stackexchange.com/questions/5950/… - There are also links to -Bildwörterbücher_ in my answer
    – knut
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 21:16
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    @knut: Thanks, but, as I emphasized in my question, I am not looking for Bildwörterbücher.
    – kjo
    Commented Feb 24, 2013 at 22:15
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    Try bebildert, maybe it will give you more hits. Bebildet is not a German word. Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 0:30
  • @EugeneSeidel: thanks for the correction. Unfortunately, it made no difference. (Since my command of German is tenuous, I rarely use "double quotes" when I search for German words, to avail myself of the search engine's inexact matching capability. Therefore it's perhaps not surprising that fixing my error did not produce more hits.)
    – kjo
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 2:47
  • Also please note that the term "Wörterbuch" nowadays is a bit more associated with lists of translations. You have "Wortschatz" for something like a thesaurus.
    – stacky-bit
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 15:40

4 Answers 4


One of the terms you can search for is

Illustriertes Wörterbuch


Wörterbuch mit Illustrationen



  • Thanks for the pointer. This is the only example I know of so far of the kind of dictionary I'm looking for. I'm amazed that Amazon.de does not sell it. Maybe it's out-of-print, or there's just no market for it.
    – kjo
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 2:54
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    In Austria 'Bilderlexikon' is very common, see ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/… Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 17:18

Starting from a mere 20 euros, you can buy used the 24-volume dtv encyclopedia (2006 edition). 150,000 entries (headwords), 10,000 illustrations, photos, tables, charts, tables... Some of the customer reviews claim that the (older) 20-volume dtv encyclopedia was better; this, too, is available used on amazon and probably from other vendors, too. Also check out the "Customers who viewed this article also viewed these other articles" section.

As dtv note on their website, the market for general reference works (encyclopedias but also dictionaries) has dried up in the Internet era and they are now publishing only narrow-interest publications (acupuncture, art, etc.)


There used to be these multi-volume general encyclopaedias such as 'Meyers Taschenlexikon' and the 'Brockhaus Taschenlexikon' and smaller general editions of these.


There are probably none of these Books for the German language (except the out of print Wahrig). If you can't get one, you might find wikipedia useful. It's partially illustrated and can be used as a unilingual or multilingual dictionary via the language links.

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    -1 answer to the quesiton is simply not true, the rest is your personal oppinion/behaviour and ain't backed by any investigation either. Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 17:19
  • The question to the answer is just a guess, but it's also declared as such. The rest is partly personal oppinion, but also partly a workaround for the problem posed. The original poster kept unclear, whether his aim was simply to "own" such an illustrated dictionary, or whether he needs to use such. If he wants to use such but can't get one in book form, using wikipedia is a good workaround as it shares man aspects of illustrated dictionaries.
    – Toscho
    Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 17:36
  • the translation-tag and "how does one say illustraded dictionary in german" clearly signal what he's looking for, and as you see from other answers there is a translation for "illustrated dictionary" Commented Feb 27, 2013 at 21:09
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    Ok, now I understand, what you mean. My answer is misleading in the sense, that "none of these" may refer to translation. Intentionally, I referred not to translation but to the books in themselves. The only candidate "wahrig" is seemingly out of print.
    – Toscho
    Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 8:10

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