The aim of this thread is to compile a resource of suggestions for monolingual learner's dictionaries for present-day French. Please add your suggestions below.


  • the definitions are written in a simpler subset of French
  • many entries have examples
  • the lexicon focuses on words that learners need most
  • audio pronunciation is available

When adding your suggestions, please clarify which of these conditions are met. Thanks.

1 Answer 1


At school, our teachers of French abhorred bilingual dictionaries and recommended the following monolingual dictionaries:

  • Dictionnaire Le Robert Micro poche: the current edition is a single volume of 1 680 pages. (In the early 1990s, Le micro Robert de poche, as it was then known, also existed in a two-volume edition.) This dictionary contains 90,000 definitions and many examples. (Many examples come from literary sources.) The pronunciation of each word is also provided. Where relevant, synonyms and antonyms are also listed. This dictionary should not be confused with Le Petit Robert, which requires a native or near-native level of French.
  • Larousse dictionnaire Maxi DEBUTANTS: if you don't mind using a dicionary created for French school children, you will find easy-to-undestand definitions, synonyms, antonyms, a mini atlas and a number of pages/tables with thematically related vocabulary. (If you need to write an exam in French and you are allowed to bring monolingual French dictionaries but no bilingual dictionaries, this can be useful for finding words.) I don't know whether this dictionary provides pronunciation information; it is aimed at an age group that is not familiar with IPA.

There are a few other ones, for example:

  • Dictionnaire du français langue étrangère by Josette Rey-Debove, published as the result of a co-operative effort between Le Robert and CLE International. This dictionary is aimed at learners of French and has 22,000 entries. Definitions have been kept simple and there are many usage examples.
  • If you want to learn business French, you may also consider Dictionnaire d'apprentissage du français des affaires - Livre by Jean Binon, Serge Verlinde, Jan Van Dyck and Ann Bertels, published by Didier in 2001/2003.

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