The Dictionnaire de l'Académie française
is the official dictionary
A dictionary is a collection of words in one or more specific languages, often listed alphabetically, with usage information, definitions, etymologies, phonetics, pronunciations, and other information; or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, also known as a lexicon...
of the French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...
The Académie française
L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
's official authority on the usages, vocabulary
A person's vocabulary is the set of words within a language that are familiar to that person. A vocabulary usually develops with age, and serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and acquiring knowledge...
, and grammar
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics,...
of the French language, although its recommendations carry no legal power. Sometimes, even governmental authorities disregard the Académie's rulings.
A special Commission (Commission du dictionnaire
) composed of several (but not all) of the members of the Académie undertakes the compilation of the dictionary. It has published thirteen editions of the dictionary, of which three were preliminary, eight were complete, and two were supplements for specialised words. These include:
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise (from A to Aversion), pre-edition, Frankfurt am Main, 1687
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise (from A to Confiture), pre-edition, Frankfurt am Main, 1687
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise (from A to Neuf), pre-edition, Paris, 1687
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise dedié au Roy (1st edition), Paris, 1694
- Nouveau Dictionnaire de l’Académie françoise dedié au Roy (2nd edition), Paris, 1718
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise (3rd edition), Paris, 1740
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise (4th edition), Paris, 1762
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise (5th edition), Paris, 1798
- Dictionnaire de l'Académie française (6th edition), Paris, 1835
- Dictionnaire de l'Académie française (7th edition), Paris, 1879
- Dictionnaire de l'Académie française (8th edition), Paris, 1932-1935
Supplementary editions for the sciences, arts, and technology:
- Corneille, Thomas, Le Dictionnaire des Arts et des Sciences, Paris, 1694
- Barré, Louis, Complément du Dictionnaire de l’Académie française, Paris, 1842
In 1778, the Académie attempted to compile a "historical dictionary" of the French language. The project was later abandoned, having failed to progress beyond the letter "A".
The 8th edition of 1935 contained approximately 35,000 words. The Académie continues work on the ninth edition, begun in 1986, of which the first volume (A
) was published in 1992 (ISBN 2-213-62142-X)
, and the second (Éocène
) in 2000 (ISBN 2-213-62143-8)
. As the work goes on, additional parts of the Dictionnaire
are published in the Documents administratifs
of the Journal Officiel
The Journal Officiel de la République Française is the official gazette of the French Republic. It publishes the major legal official information from the national Government of France.-Publications:...
, and posted online. The finalized ninth edition is expected to contain more than 15,000 new words. In part because the current edition dates from 1935, other dictionaries (such as those published by Larousse
Éditions Larousse is a French publishing house specialising in reference works such as dictionaries. It was founded by Pierre Larousse and its best-known work is the Petit Larousse.It was acquired by Vivendi Universal in 1998...
and Le Robert
Dictionnaires Le Robert is a French publisher of dictionaries founded by Paul Robert. Its Petit Robert is often considered the authoritative single-volume dictionary of the French language.-Bilingual dictionaries:...
) are more commonly used as everyday reference sources than the Académie's.
Searchable original texts
- University of Chicago, The ARTFL Project, Dictionnaires d'autrefois, Full text, searchable French dictionaries of the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Includes: Dictionnaire de L'Académie française: 1st (1694), 4th (1762), 5th (1798), 6th (1835), and 8th (1932–5) editions; Jean Nicot
Jean Nicot was a French diplomat and scholar.Born in Nîmes, in the south of France, he was French ambassador in Lisbon, Portugal from 1559 to 1561....
's Thresor de la langue française (1606), Jean-François Féraud's Dictionaire critique de la langue française (1787–1788), and Émile Littré
Émile Maximilien Paul Littré was a French lexicographer and philosopher, best known for his Dictionnaire de la langue française, commonly called "The Littré".-Biography:Émile Littré was born in Paris...
's Dictionnaire de la langue française (1872–1877)
- Académie française, Dictionnaire de L'Académie française, 9th edition online, official site, work-in-progress with regular updates
Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France:
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise dedié au Roy, 1st edition (1694), vol. 1, vol. 2
- Nouveau Dictionnaire de l’Académie françoise dedié au Roy, 2nd edition (1718), vol.
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise, 3rd edition (1740), vol. 1, vol .2
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise, 4th edition (1762), vol. 1, vol. 2
- Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise, 5th edition (1798), vol. 1, vol. 2
- Dictionnaire de L'Académie française, 6th edition (1835), vol. 1, vol. 2
- Dictionnaire de L'Académie française, 7th edition (1878), vol. 1, vol. 2