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DCU Library

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

DCU Library holds a collection of general and subject-specific reference works such as dictionaries, encyclopaedias and yearbooks.  To find them, search by Keyword in the Library Catalogue – e.g. encyclopaedia philosophy or dictionary chemistry.Remember to try alternative spellings (e.g. encyclopedia ,encyclopedias, dictionaries) as this will alter the number of results you get.



Print Dictionaries

These are mainly held in the Reference Area on the ground floor (beside the Short Loan Collection) in Glasnevin Library and 2nd floor in St. Patrick's Library and are for use in the library only.  Some language dictionaries may be borrowed from the Short Loan Collection in Glasnevin Library.

Online Dictionaries (available to DCU community)

Dictionary of Irish Biography    -    The Dictionary of Irish Biography, a collaborative project between Cambridge University Press and the Royal Irish Academy, is the most comprehensive and authoritative biographical dictionary yet published for Ireland. It contains 9,014 signed biographical articles which describe and assess the careers of subjects in all fields of endeavour, including politics, law, religion, literature, journalism, architecture, painting, music, the stage, science, medicine, engineering, entertainment and sport.

Oxford English Dictionary    -    The Oxford English Dictionary is widely acknowledged to be the ultimate authority on the English language. The largest dictionary of any language in the world, it charts the meaning and evolution of over 600,000 words over the last 1500 years.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography    -    The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography tells the stories of over 50,000 people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to those who died in the year 2000.The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography also includes over 10,000 portrait illustrations.

Oxford Music Online    -    The Oxford Dictionary of Music: 12,500 entries on composers, performers, conductors, musical terms and forms, instruments, works, venues, and a host of other topics. It provides full-text access to: Grove Music Online: includes The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera , and The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. The Oxford Companion to Music: More than 8,000 articles on range of subjects: composers, performers, conductors, individual works, instruments and notation, forms and genres.

Dictionaries freely available on the web


Japanese <-> English Dictionary Server 

Rogets II Thesaurus 


Merriam-Webster'sOnline Dictionary


Wordsmyth: dictionary with an integrated Thesaurus


Digital Dictionaries of South Asia

Grand dictionnaire terminologique : dictionary of terms from industry, commerce and science

Banque de dépannage linguistique: teaching tool for French grammar, syntax, spelling, punctuation

BusinessDictionary.com:  definitions of more than 20,000 business terms on a variety of topics, including Accounting & Auditing.

techdictionary.com: online computer dictionary.  Search for thousands of technology terms.

NetLingo.com: tracks new Internet terms and text and chat acronyms.



Print Encylopaedias

Most encyclopaedias are held in the Reference Area (beside the Short Loan Collection) in Glasnevin Library and 2nd Floor in St. Patrick's Library. Some are held in the Main Lending Collection in Glasnevin Library and are shelved in the relevant subject area on the first and second floors.

Online Encylopaedias (available to the DCU Community)

Routledge Encyclopaedia of Philosophy REP covers Anglo-American, ethical and political, cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, continental and contemporary philosophy. It includes over 25,000 hot-linked cross-references between articles and new links to other editorially reviewed websites.

Oxford Art Online Search four Oxford art resources together or separately:

Encylopaedias freely available on the web

Encyclopedia Britannica


Columbia Encyclopedia

Information Please

Science and Engineering Encyclopedia

Key Reference Works online Oxford Reference Includes over 1 million entries across 25 subject areas from architecture to zoology. It offers the very best in quick reference information together with authoritative, in-depth articles by world-famous authors.   It also offers excellent functionality, and a wide range of additional material such as maps, illustrations and timelines