Collins FREE online dictionary

Bringing an authoritative, free online dictionary into your classroom

It goes without saying that at Collins, we believe that print dictionaries remain indispensable tools for teaching and supporting homework. It’s crucial for pupils to know how to use a dictionary effectively to perform, and to improve their performance, in all subjects, not just English. Owning a dictionary helps students to work independently; at Collins, we believe that it’s a necessary investment for students’ learning growth and success in exams as well as in later life. We encourage parents to buy dictionaries for children and help schools to invest in sets of school dictionaries. This will not change. We simply wish to show how print and online dictionaries can work in tandem to make interesting learning, and ultimately, life easier for teachers.
In a recent report from the Bookseller, it was reported that schools were crying out for more and more ebooks. A sign indeed that in today’s world the need for ‘digital’ is growing rapidly. Faster internet access and online learning mean that ‘digital’ can make young people’s education and learning easier. You just have to look at the increased usage of the word ‘online‘ over the last ten years in the word trends graph to realise how the need to embrace ‘digital’ is necessary.
May we introduce you to a new, free dictionary site which is both the perfect companion to online learning and guaranteed to get your students engaged in discussions about words, vocabulary and language trends. By opening in a new tab, your students have instant access to comprehensive dictionaries in English, Spanish, French and German plus a thesaurus with audio pronunciation for every word, and much more*. The option of audio help allows your pupils to listen and learn the pronunciation of any word with which they are not familiar, or that they may need to double-check whilst completing their assignments.
This is why we designed a game to practise using print and online dictionaries – spot the difference with your students. If you need any additional resources simply use our printable worksheets, verb tables and audio files for French and Spanish to support your teaching.
Let’s just type in the word in the search box and get the meanings of words within seconds!

1.Let’s look up of the meaning of the word ‘jour’ in Collins Easy Learning French Dictionary. First of all make sure that you look in the right side of the dictionary, so French-English. To find a word more quickly, use the alphabet tabs down the side of the page. Does it indicate the form of the noun? How do you know that is masculine not feminine? Can you find the related verb and how do you know which verb table to use? For more help use our guide on how to use the dictionary.
If you forget how to pronounce this word simply type ‘jour’ into the French-English search box on If you’re learning German and Spanish, it will give you the word meaning in these languages below. If you would like to see this word in use, scroll down and see the usage examples. Was this word used more often in 1912 or 2008?

2. Read the article from Le Figaro ‘La cérémonie des Oscars en images’, find the meaning of underlined words and learn their pronunciation. Imagine that you’re TV presenter reporting on the Oscars. Write a few Oscar highlights for Twitter, so use just 140 characters!

* Want to know more about Features Collins believe will make life easier for teachers and students:
  • Easy access for every student – Collins comprehensive dictionaries in English, French, German and Spanish are available free online 
  • Improve your students pronunciation – over 350,000 translations for the most frequently used words in English are available in 35 other languages with audio pronunciation 
  • Increase vocabulary – Each page gives a comprehensive entry including alternative meanings, synonyms, word histories and etymologies in less than one-second page load time 
  • Help students use the language correctly in context – full-sentence usage examples covering words and phrases in English, French, German and Spanish extracted from newspapers, fiction and non-fiction books from HarperCollins
  • Words are easier to remember if students can relate it to others or a story– engaging and interesting articles and blogs with historical word usage trends in all languages dating back over the last 400 years and word frequency graphs to show how often words occur in common usage 
  • Help spelling words – predictive search in all languages helps find ‘near-misses’ with a “did you mean?” function
  • Help remember words by association – images from Flickr to support all definitions aid language students to grasp word-meanings more easily

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