“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”
1 Cor. 13:1
“Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.”
1 Cor. 14:9
“Brethren, be not children in understanding… but in understanding be men.”
1 Cor. 14:20
Order of Contents
Parsing & Declining Tools
Most User-Friendly to Technical
Digital (from User-Friendly to Technical)
While Google Translate is notoriously unreliable for doing your translating for you, it is good on giving many possible translations of root words and prepositions, and orders them according to frequency of use. It also will give synonyms for root words. It is based on West-Coast language philosophy: translating according to how the Latin is actually translated into English in literature.
Designed to be user-friendly. Includes around 40,000 Latin words; results are listed by frequency. Includes information not comon to online dictionaries, such as time period, geography, frequency, type of conjugation or declension and its part in grammar.
Includes listings from: Latin Oxford Dictionary (OLD, 1982), C.H. Beeson, A Primer of Medieval Latin (1925), Roy J. Deferrari, Dictionary of St. Thomas Aquinas (1960), Lewis & Short (1879), Souter, A Glossary of Later Latin to 600 A.D. (Oxford, 1949) & L.F. Stelten, Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin (1995).
Useful if one does not know the root of the word as Wiktionary includes all declensions and conjugations. Gives simple definitions, but often provides a lot of related information about words. As Wiktionary is compiled by the general public, whose energy is endless and cumulative, it often includes words that cannot be found in other dictionaries.
Helpful for basic definitions, based on Lews & Short. Will give you the root word for your term, which you can then look up in other dictionaries as well.
Contains about 40,000 words, the size of an ordinary dictionary.
This searches 4 dictionaries: (1) Lewis & Short, (2) Smith & Hall, (3) Döderlein’s Handbook of Latin Synonyms & (4) Horae Latinae: Studies in Synonyms & Syntax.
This is included in Logeion below. For background, see under Historical, 1500’s, below.
One of the fullest and most technical web-based meta-dictionaries available. Includes Latin and Greek terms according to their root, the full Lewis & Short, and a handful of other dictionaries (including the 17 vol. Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, DMLBS). Often in the right-hand column is further lexical information, including links to the word being used in primary sources.
Forcellini is perhaps larger and better than Lewis & Short, and is here available in both print and digital form. Forcellini (1688-1768) was an Itallian, Romanist philosopher and philologist. The dictionary is mostly all in Latin, besides other languages, gives detailed explanations of words, and usually gives many examples of it in use from the primary classical sources. If your term is not a root word, it will provide root words similar to your term. Find your term in 5 other Latin and Greek dictionaries linked on the top left of the page at a click of a button.
The other dictionaries included are: Valpy Etymology, Schrevel (Latin to Greek & Greek to Latin), Wagner, NVLM (Latin to Greek & Greek to Latin) & Opus Saxonis. There are two further dictionaries linked at the top-right of the screen; they translate into Bohemian.
The largest Latin dictionary ever created, from all available surviving Latin manuscripts. The project, based out of Munich, was started in 1894 and is only up to ‘R’, hoping to be completed around 2050. The dictionary charts the evolution of the Latin language from its very origin to the time of Isidore of Seville (d. 636).
Lexicon Mediae et Infimae Latinitatis Polonorum in 1 vol. (Paris: J.P.Migne, 1890) 1,180 pp.
This was the most comprehensive dictionary of the Latin language as it was used in Poland from the 10th to the middle of the 16th century. On the modern publication of it, see Wiki. This is also known as Du Cange, which is searchable in Logeion.
Coles, Elisha – A Dictionary: English-Latin & Latin-English, Containing All Things Necessary for the Translating of Either Language into the Other… All Suited to the Meanest Capacities in a Plainer Method than Heretofor… 2nd ed. enlarged (London, 1679) The Latin to English section starts here (no page numbers).
Coles (c.1608-1688) was a reformed puritan and Oxford scholar, who has a classic book on the sovereignty of God. This is a secular dictionary; it includes Latin abbreviations. Very brief definitions.
For English Users
Muller, Richard – Dictionary of Latin & Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology Buy Pre (1985; 1996; Baker Academic, 2017) 334 pp. The 2nd ed. has been updated and revised throughout, including more philosophical terms.
Terms are in Latin and Greek; explanations are in English. It has an English index of the terms explained in the back.
This is to be used like a theological dictionary for Latin and Greek terms (for which it is first rate). However, if one is expecting to read ecclesiastical or theological Latin, not know a word, and find it in here, they will be dissappointed. The volume is great for better understanding the theology of the Reformed and Lutheran scholastics.
Bretzke, James T. – Consecrated Phrases: A Latin Theological Dictionary: Latin Expressions Commonly Found in Theological Writings 2nd ed. Pre (Collegeville, MI: The Liturgical Press) 161 pp.
Wholly in Latin
de Pisis, Rainerius – Pantheologia, sive summa universae theologiae (Nurnberg, 1473) Afterwards published as Pantheologia ordine alphabetico per varios titulos distributa (Leiden, 1655 / 1670)
“The articles are few, but circumstantial.”
Arquerius, Johannes – A Theological Dictionary, out of the Most Holy, Old, Bible Versions & Holy Fathers, from the Time of the Apostles up to the Roman Bishop, Gregory the Great [d. 604]… (Basil, 1567) 605 pp. Index of Authors
Arguerius (fl.1567-) is not listed under a theological tradition at PRDL.
Faber, Basilius – Thesaurus Eruditionis Scholasticae (Leipzig, 1571)
Faber was a Lutheran.
Altenstaig, Johannes – A Theological Lexicon, containing Descriptions, Definitions & Interpretations of Vocabulary in All Studies of Sacred Theology… (Antwerp: Peter Beller, 1576) 353 pp. no Index
Altenstaig (c.1460-1525) was a Romanist professor of theology and philosopher at Tubingen, Germany.
Lorich, Iodok – Thesaurus Novus Utriusque Theologiae Theoricae et Practicae (Freiburg, 1609)
Alsted, Johann Heinrich – A Theological Lexicon, in which the Limits [or Definitions] of Most Holy Theology are Clearly Explained According to a Series of Common Places; a Necessary Admonition on the Reading of the New Testament is Added Thereto (1612) ToC
Alsted was German reformed.
Tytz, Johann – Lexicon Theologicum (Koln, 1619) 994 pp.
Reshuffled edition of Altenstaig’s (Romanist) dictionary.
Hackspan, Theodoricus – The Philosophical Distinctions & Divisions of Theological Definition, out of various Theologians, especially ours, but even out of the portions of Aversaries… (Altdorf: Georg Hagen, 1644) 688 pp. Sources no Index
Hackspan (1607-1659) was a Lutheran professor of Hebrew and theology at Altdorf, Germany.
Hottinger was French reformed.
Polman, Jean – Breviarium Theologicum Continens Definitiones et explicationes… terminorum theologicorum (Douai, 1650)
Polman was a Romanist.
Dieterich, Johann Conrad – Lexicon Philologico-Theologicum Graeco-Latinum (Frankfurt, 1680)
Frohne, Johann Adolph – Definitive Theology, comprehending 1845 Theological Definitions, Theoretical & Practical… (Leipzig: Croker, 1707) 880 pp. Index
Frohne (1652-1713) was a Lutheran.
Alletz, Pons Augustin – A Portable Theological Dictionary, in which all the Dogmas of Faith & Approved Moral Doctrines, Things of Controversy in Faith… are Expounded… from French turned into Latin phrase… another edition revised (1762) 534 pp. no Index A previous edition of this was in 3 vols.
Alletz (1703-1785) was a French, Romanist. He spent some years living in a Romanist community belonging to the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri before working as a lawyer in Montpellier. He quickly abandoned law, however, and moved to Paris to devote himself entirely to writing. His numerous works are nearly all useful reference texts.
von Jesu, Friederich – Lexicon Theologicum (Augsburg, 1784)
Mellinius, Joseph Zama – Lexicon, in which the Locutions of the Old Theologians are Explained… (Cologne: J.M. Heberle, 1855) 93 pp. no Index
Muller, Richard A. – ‘Works Consulted’ in Dictionary of Latin & Greek Theological Terms… (Baker, 1985), pp. 14-15
Tonelli, di Giorgio – A Short-title List of Subject Dictionaries of the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries extended ed., rev. & annotated by E. Canone & M. Palumbo (Firenze, Olschki, 2006) 162 pp.
The Chronological-Systematic Index on p. 136 is divided by century, and then by the subject of the dictionary. This index is the easiest way to find the type of dictionaries one is looking for. One can also search the PDF for terms of interest.
Ecclesiastical & Neo-Latin Dictionaries
For English Users
The Neo-Latin Lexicon is the home of the largest repository Neo-Latin vocabulary culled from literary sources. Here is the bibliography of the sources it is based on.
The Neo-Latin Wordlist by Johann Ramminger
Use the search box in the left-hand column. This is a collection of about two million wordforms deriving from Neo-Latin texts from 1300-1700. The NLW focuses on new or rare words and on terms which are noteworthy for other reasons. See an intro to the database here.
Hoffmann, Alexius – Liturgical Dictionary in Popular Liturgical Library (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1928)
Romanist. Preface: “The books to which this volume will serve as a companion are the Vulgate… the Roman Missal, Breviary, Martyrology, Ritual, Pontifical and Ceremonial of Bishops; also several compendiums of Sacred Liturgy.”
Britt, Matthew – A Dictionary of the Psalter: Containing the Vocabulary of the Psalms, Hymns, Canticles & Miscellaneous Prayers of the [Romanist] Breviary Psalter (Benziger Brothers, 1928) 299 pp.
This work is highly focused on Romanist Canon Law; thus it is of limited help to Post-Reformation ecclesiastical latin more broadly. The volume is on the thinner side, and the definitions given are very brief.
Its listings are included in Latdict.
Hoven, Rene – Dictionary of Renaissance Latin from Prose Sources Pre in French (Brill, 2006)
Harden, J.M. – Dictionary of the Vulgate New Testament: A Dictionary of Ecclesiastical Latin Buy (1921; Simon Wallenburg Press, 2007) 140 pp.
Most definitions are one English word.
Howlett, David – Dictionary of Medieval Latin from British Sources, vol. 1 (A,B), 2 (C), 3 (D,E), 4 (F,G,H), 5 (I,J,K,L), 6 (M), 7 (N), 8 (O), 9 (P-Pel), 10 (Pel-Phi), 11 (Phi-Pos), 12 (Pos-Pro), 13 (Pro-Reg), 14 (Reg-Sal), 15 (Sal-Sol), 16 (Sol-Syr), 17 (Syr-Z) (British Academy, 1975-2013)
“This dictionary is an indispensable guide to the study of the Latin Middle Ages. It records the continuing usage of classical and late Latin in this period (6th-16th centuries), but it presents most fully the medieval developments of the language, drawing on a rich variety of printed and manuscript sources. Many new formations from other languages are revealed – some of the borrowings recorded in Latin centuries before their appearance in written vernacular sources.”
For the English User
The Latin words have extended English descriptions.
DeFerrari, Roy J. – A Lexicon of St. Thomas Aquinas… (Catholic Univ. of America Press, 1948) 1,190 pp.
The Latin terms have brief English definitions; then copious quotes in Latin are given from Thomas’s works.
Wholly in Latin & Greek
On John Duns Scotus
Garcia, Mariano Fernandez – Lexicon Scholasticum Philosophico-Theologicum in quo termini, definitiones, distinctiones et effata a Joanne Duns Scoto exponuntur, declarantur Pre (1910; Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag, 1998)
Goclenius, Sr. (1547-1628) was a German, reformed professor of philosophy at Marburg.
Chauvin, Etienne – A Philosophical Lexicon (Leovardiae, 1713) 719 pp. No ToC Includes Greek terms.
Chauvin (1640-1725) was a German, reformed professor of philosophy in Berlin.
Blanc, Elia – ‘Lexicon Scholasticum, in quo distinctiones et axiomata praecipua explicantur’ in Manuale Philosophiae Scholasticae... (Leiden, 1901), vol. 1, pp. 7-28 This is a small pamphlet sized glossary.
Latin Place Names
From Smallest to Largest Database
‘List of Latin Names of Cities’ at Wikipedia
This is a list of Latin names for modern cities around the world places that haven’t otherwise had a Latin name given to them yet by consensus. It also instucts one on how to create Latin names for places.
‘Latin Place Names’ at Association of College & Research Libraries
Great for figuring out the place of publication for books printed in Euorpe in Latin.
‘Orbis Latinus Online’ by Dr. J.G. Th. Graesse (1909)
Very large database of place names around the world from a standard academic source from 1909.
Search for a place, person, publisher, printer or corporate body in the search box, and get those results in return. This database of 1.4 million entries is run by the Consortium of European Research Libraries.
Adriano Cappelli was the author of a massive ‘Lexicon of [Latin] Abbreviations’ (1899) in Itallian. The abbreviations from this dictionary, plus more from crowdsourcing (reviewed by experts), over 14,000 in all, with their explanations, are here in a searchable database.
To get started, put the letters of your abbreviation in the box entitled, “Character Input” and hit “enter”. The database is capable of some complex searches.
Cappelli, Adriano – ‘The Elements of Abbreviation in Medieval Latin Paleography’ trans. David Heimann & Richard Kay (University of Kansas Libraries, 1982)
This essay is the translated Introduction from Cappelli’s ‘Lexicon of Abbreviations’. In it is explained the simple rules and methodology of medieval Latin abbreviating.
Many or most Latin manscripts from the Medieval Age, even up into the 1500’s, abbreviated frequently, even every third word or so (as in this Glossa Ordinaria with Lyra’s annotations on John ch. 1). Learning the method of Latin abbreviations is much faster than looking each one up.
Latin to Greek & Greek to Latin
From Latin to Greek
Bergren, Theodore A. – A Latin-Greek Index of the Vulgate New Testament… (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press) 225 pp.
This was largely derived through reversing the material of Schmoller below.
From Greek to Latin
This is a German concordance of the Greek New Testament which provides the Latin equivalents to the Greek terms.
Subscriptions to such databases usually cost a lot and are only offered to institutions. To gain access to it, seek access through a library, university, etc., especially research universities.
Database of Latin Dictionaries (DLD)
For a description of this database of 24 dictionaries (as of 2021), which is being continually developed, see the website of the publisher.
“And the Lord said, ‘Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language… and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth…”
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come… And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance…
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying… we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”