-I apologize if this is a wrong place for this particular question-

What are other online dictionaries/translators which are 100% trustworthy and credible, other than Cambridge and Oxford?

  • I would not consider any online dictionary to be 100% trustworthy or credible, especially those that are available free of charge. Most on-line dictionaries only contain the most common definitions or usages associated with a word, with many of the rarer and/or archaic usages not being included. On-line translators are even worse; they may give you an idea of what a foreign word or phrase may mean, but they are not sufficiently nuanced to be anywhere near 100% reliable.
    – James
    Jan 29, 2019 at 14:05
  • @James What about actual dictionaries that have online versions like: dictionary.cambridge.org or oxforddictionaries.com? Jan 29, 2019 at 14:36
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    The only trustworthy translator is a highly experienced human one. Translators are people, they are not programs, like Google translate, which is really bad, by the way.
    – Lambie
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:17
  • @Lambie Electronic versions of credible dictionaries like the ones mentioned, are 'translators', no? Jan 29, 2019 at 15:39
  • No, they aren't translators. The word translator refers to a person, a real human being. Not a software program that performs translations: translation software.
    – Lambie
    Jan 29, 2019 at 16:08
  • @Lambie So how do you differentiate between what I'm referring to (not necessarily a software but also a website) and available online .pdf files or pages where you manually scroll over to find the desired vocabulary? Jan 29, 2019 at 16:17
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    I don't know if any dictionary could be considered "100% trustworthy". Language evolves, and dictionaries try to keep up. I've long maintained that, if you really want to get the full sense of a word's meaning and nuances, it's better to use multiple dictionaries than to rely on one. You've already mentioned Oxford and Cambridge; I'd add Merriam-Webster, Macmillan, and Collins to that list. I think those five resources are credible and reliable, although I'd hesitate to put the words "100%" and "trustworthy" in the same sentence.
    – J.R. Mod
    Jan 29, 2019 at 19:34
  • @Enthusiator If you are able to obtain a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, and compare its definitions of common English words with those in the online Oxford dictionary, you will find that the OED has (i) more entries for each word, (ii) more in depth definitions, (iii) more in depth history and etymology of the word, (iv) better examples of actual use. Online dictionaries have nowhere near the same credibility as printed versions from the same publisher.
    – James
    Jan 30, 2019 at 13:20

1 Answer 1


The Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries have long been considered as the two most credible and trustworthy for British English. In terms of popularity, the Oxford dictionary is the more popular of the two in the UK and is generally cited as the ultimate authority on the language. I believe the US equivalent is the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

As the online versions of dictionaries face the entire world rather than a specific country you may find that good dictionaries offer alternative spellings and meanings that reflect their usage in both BrEng and AmEng.

One thing to bear in mind is that language does change rapidly and the most credible dictionaries take great care not to add any definitions which are spurious which means that they are not always the first to include new uses of words. New words added to the Oxford dictionary tend to be a yearly newsworthy item in Britain. These dictionaries will not always include the most up-to-date "urban" or "slang" uses of words.

  • Do you think there are any technical differences between Cambridge and Oxford? Jan 29, 2019 at 13:46
  • @Enthusiastor I don't believe there is much difference. With thousands of entries to compare it would be impossible to say which is "better". They both stem from the two most widely-respected universities in the UK and they are so close that they are often mentioned together, sometimes as the portmanteau "Oxbridge". But in terms of popularity the Oxford dictionary is the more popular of the two in the UK and the most widely cited.
    – Astralbee
    Jan 29, 2019 at 13:49
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    @Astralbee I believe they differ in their opinion of 'ise' vs 'ize'
    – WendyG
    Jan 29, 2019 at 14:07
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    It depends on what you mean by Oxford. The OED is not the Oxford Dictionary, online. The number one dictionary in the world for English is the OED.
    – Lambie
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:16
  • @WendyG if both are British, then both should use 'ise', am I right? Jan 29, 2019 at 15:42
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    @Enthusiastor No. -ise is Cambridge spelling, -ize is Oxford spelling. The latter is exclusively used in American spelling, however, and some Brits may see it as American and avoid it—even though -ise is French in origin, which to this American seems like the less logical association :-).
    – choster
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:45
  • @choster I'm confused. To which are you referring by 'latter', -ize or Oxford? Oxford is British, no? Also a massive part of English vocabulary and maybe even other parts of linguistics (not sure) already come from French and accordingly Latin! Jan 29, 2019 at 15:52
  • @Enthusiastor Both -ise and -ize are used in British English, and which you use depends on which spelling system your organization or publication prefers. In American English, -ize is used exclusively, and -ise is a marker of foreign writing.
    – choster
    Jan 29, 2019 at 15:55
  • Lambie makes an important point. Also, the OED is a good resource for American English as well as British English. The dictionaries on the Oxford Dictionaries website are certainly not the OED, but they are good resources for Present Day English.
    – user230
    Jan 29, 2019 at 21:48

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