I have looked at a few and surprisingly quite often they disagree when it comes to specifics. I mean it's not like one says this means dying and the other means living, but that one says X means put it down but another says put it down carefully and yet another, drop it down, etc. Here are the list I usually consult:

French-English: wiktionary, larousse,wordreference, collinsdictionary.

French-French: wiktionary (French version), linternaute, le-dictionnaire, TLFI, etc.

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    French-English/English-French I strongly recommend Reverso, it is made by real professionals. I'm talking only about the dictionary part, Reverso context, like Linguee is dependent on visitors' contributions (experts and non experts), can give hints at times but some of the translations in context are not always good and if you want to use them check if and how they have been evaluated. Wordreference and Larousse are not very helpful to my mind. – None Nov 20 '16 at 7:48
  • I personally use WordReference all the time. About the "Reverso context", it's ok but the sentences in the example are almost always law, or science papers, or things like that and are not that representative. (You can see the source of each sentence. – Teleporting Goat Nov 20 '16 at 14:05
  • I still think this question is a duplicate and you should search the other questions before asking a new one though. – Teleporting Goat Nov 20 '16 at 14:20
  • Reverso is terrible. If you are not already a fluent speaker, it can mislead you badly. The same goes for WordReference. Larousse is the only real dictionary and is very good but but does not seem to working recently. – Lambie Nov 20 '16 at 18:28
  • Teleporting Goat: I was on a French learning site and there were disagreements about usage of déposer vs poser and I noticed that people were referencing different dictionaries. This was not the first time this had come up either. I looked at the questions here and nobody had asked this specific question in the title. So I asked it. Similar questions would only ask people to mention dictionaries but I'm here pointing out there is disagreement and that hopefully some French native who is also an academic can help tell me which source to use as most accurate one. – RyanFalon Nov 20 '16 at 21:50


I would say that except for Wiktionnaire and Larousse you should just forget about free online dictionaries if you want an authoritative resource rather than one that helps you make sense of words in context. Stick to trusted paper dictionaries like Le Petit Robert or Larousse.

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  • wiktonnaire has some helpful words but unless you're a professional, the others you list can be very misleading. – Lambie Nov 20 '16 at 18:29
  • I just realized this is a bad answer, but that's because I answered the wrong question. The proper answer to the question is to forget about free online dictionaries and just use an authoritative source like Le Petit Robert or Larousse. Regarding your comment, you always get the context and the source. The main problem is that they often won't be helpful, but I suppose they could be misleading if you expect them to be exhaustive. That makes this answer misleading, but not the sources I mentioned. Perhaps you could extend your argument? – Frenzie Nov 20 '16 at 22:41
  • They are only useful to those who already know French because they have so many errors. If you know French, and find a useful suggestion in a list of suggestions, it is because you can see due to the rest of your knowledge that it is right. How do I know this? Because I am a professional translator and interpreter. Cheers. – Lambie Nov 21 '16 at 12:25

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