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


  • the definitions are written in a simpler subset of Spanish
  • 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


One that I have used is Diccionario didáctico de español intermedio by Juan Antonio de las Heras Fernández and Manuel Rodríguez Alonso. Madrid: Ediciones SM, 1993; third edition 1994 (and now out of print). This dictionary is 1296 pages long, contains 100,000 definitions and there is an example sentence for every definition. To illustrate the level of the definitions, I will cite three examples:

bucear v. 1. Nadar o permanecer bajo el agua realizando alguna actividad: Atravesó toda la piscina buceando. (2. ...).
estatal adj. Del estado o relacionado con él o con sus órganos de gobierno: Los ministerios son organismos estatales.
perseverancia s.f. Firmeza y constancia en la ejecución de propósitos y resoluciones o en al realización de algo: Para ser un buen científico se necesita perseverancia en al trabajo.

The entries do not include IPA transcriptions; there is no CD or CD-ROM that provides audio versions of the pronunciation. However, Spanish has such a straightforward relationship between spelling and pronunciation that this should not discourage learners from using this dictionary.

For a more recent alternative, see Diccionario de español para extranjeros para la enseñanza de la lengua española, published by the Universidad de Alcalá in 2010/2011. I assume this edition is an update of an earlier one that was pubished in 1997 and reviewed on Cuadernos Cervantes. The example entry cited there (dónde) gives examples of how the word is used, but I don't know whether the dictionary does this for every entry. Pronunciation information is not provided.

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