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French Language & Literature Subject Guide: Reference Sources for French Language

Reference Sources: French Language

French Language Dictionaries & Glossaries



Dictionnaire de la langue française (Le Grand Robert). 9 vols. PC 2625 .R63 REF
This is the most important French unilingual dictionary with full etymologies and corresponding examples from French literature.

Dictionnaire culturel en langue française. 4 vols. PC 2625 .D445 2005 REF
Not just definitions, but also has short articles on ideas surrounding key terms in art, literature, religion, etc.

Multidictionnaire de la langue française. PC 2625 .V54 2009 REF
Provides usage notes with most definitions (e.g. how to conjugate, Quebecois terms, spelling, syntax, pronunciation, etc.)



Collins Robert French-English Dictionary.  PC 2640 .C69 2012 REF 

Le grand dictionnaire Hachette-Oxford: français-anglais, anglais-français. PC 2640 .O94 2007 REF
Updated online version: OLDO (Oxford Language Dictionaries Online) (Off-campus)

TERMIUM and TERMIUM Plus: The Electronic Trilingual Dictionary and Linguistic Database of the Government of Canada Translation Bureau. Coverage: French, English and Spanish terms, with definitions and documentation.

Anglicisms and Faux Amis:

Le Colpron: Le dictionnaire des anglicismes. PC 3608 .C583 REF

Dictionnaire des expressions et tournures calquées sur l'anglais. PC 2582 .E5 P37 2006 REF

Faux Amis and Key Words. PC 2640 .T5 REF

Le VocabulAIDE. PC 2582 .E5 C37 REF


Cultural References:

Routledge Dictionary of Cultural References in Modern French. PC 2766 .M68 2011 REF


Geographic Focus:

Dictionary of Louisiana French. PC 3680 .U7 L734 2009 REF

Dictionnaire du français acadien. PC 3643 .C67 1999 REF

Dictionnaire historique du français québécois. PC 3643 .D53 REF
Provides etymologies with historical literary examples. Includes some Acadian terms.

Dictionnaire québécois français. PC 3643 .M45 1999 REF

Le vocabulaire de la Francophonie. PC 2625 .D54 1997 REF
Has French terms and usage from all francophone countries in the world.

Le glossaire acadien. PC 3645 .M37 P6 1995a REF
By Pascal Poirier, Centre d’études acadiennes, U. de Moncton.



Dictionnaire des gestes. P 117 .C373 2005 REF
Chapters are organized by the body parts used.


Historical Focus:

Dictionnaire du français classique littéraire de Corneille à Chateaubriand. PC 2680 .H67 2015 REF
Explains terms used in works of French literature of the 17th & 18th centuries.

Dictionnaire historique de la langue française. 2 vols. PC 2625 .D5 REF
Covers 842 to the 1990's.

Dictionnaire de la langue française du XVIe siècle. 7 vols. PC 2650 .H7 REF

Dictionnaire du français classique. PC 2650 .D83 REF
17th century French.


Idioms and Expressions:

2001 French & English Idioms/2001 idiotismes français et anglais. PC 2640 .S53 REF

Dictionnaire d'idiotismes français-anglais. PC 2640 .H22 2006 REF

Dictionnaire des locutions idiomatiques françaises. PC 2460 .L34 REF

Dictionnaire des proverbes / Dictionary of Proverbs. PN 6404 .D52 REF

Sur le bout de la langue: 3000 expressions françaises et anglaises. PC 2460 .C68 REF


Slang and Colloquial Language:

Argot et français populaire. PC 3741 .C64 REF

Dictionnaire bilingue de l’argot d’aujourd’hui. PC 3741 .B78 REF

Street French Slang Dictionary and Thesaurus. PC 3741 .B86 REF


Specific Subject Focus:

Government of Canada Translation Bureau Glossaries. CA1 SS5.50... Government Documents (Basement). Dozens of glossaries on specific topics (pre 1996). More recent editions on the Translation Bureau web site covering topics such as women and development, Internet, soccer, climate change, etc.

Other subject specific dictionaries can be found searching the library catalogue using the keywords: French and Dictionaries and subject keyword, (e.g. French and dictionaries and marketing)


Specific Style:

Le français au bureau. PC 2120 .C6 G9 2005 REF
Québec. Office de la langue française.

French Correspondence. PC 2483 .F74 REF

Media French. PC 2460 .R58 REF


Synonyms and Antonyms:

Cambridge French-English Thesaurus. PC 2591 .L24 REF

Dictionnaire de synonymes et contraires. PC 2591 .B485 REF

Dictionnaire des synonymes et analogies. PC 2591 .D53 REF

Using French Synonyms. PC 2591 .B37 REF


Visual Dictionaries:

5 Languages Visual Dictionary. P 361 .A15 REF

Bilingual Visual Dictionary. PC 2640 .B55 2005 REF

Dictionnaire thématique visuel. PC 2625 .D525 REF

Le Petit Larousse Illustré 2007. PC 2625 .L34 REF


Grammar & Usage Guides

L’Art de conjuger. Bescherelle. PC 2272 .A78 REF

Le bon usage. Grevisse. PC 2111 .G7937 2008 REF

Canadian Style: A Guide to Writing and Editing. Ottawa: Bureau de la traduction and Dundurn Press. PN 147 C36 REF.
English usage and style guide for writers and translators translating into English. (Also online in the Language Portal/Portail linguistique du Canada. See Web Sources.)

Dictionnaire des Cooccurrences. PC 2445 .B286 REF
Provides examples from journals and magazines and well-known writers, of the phrases, adjectives and verbs commonly used with a term. (Also online in the Portail linguistique du Canada.)

Dictionnaire des règles du français. Larousse Maxi poche. PC 2107 .D53 2008 REF

Difficultés grammaticales. Larousse. PC 2111 .L27 1995 REF

French Reference Grammar: A Complete Handbook of the French Language.
PC 2112 .C26 REF

GIFT French Grammar at Your Own Pace for Windows. By Language Training Canada. CA1 CS 96G32 2002 CD-ROM Ask for at Circ. Desk: Use at CD-ROM Workstation, REF

La grammaire d’aujourd’hui. Paris: Flammarion. PC 2112 .A77 REF

Guide du rédacteur. Ottawa: Bureau de la traduction. Z 253 .G84 REF
An excellent guide  to common difficulties in French usage and style, by the federal government Translation Bureau. (Also online in the Portail linguistique du Canada.)

Lexique analogique. Ottawa: Bureau de la traduction. CA1 SS5 97L21 Gov Docs (Basement)
Provides French equivalents for common English terms that are hard to translate. (Also online in the Portail linguistique du Canada.)

Mieux dire Mieux écrire: Petit corrigé des 3000 énoncés les plus malmenés au Québec. PC 3627 .D44 2015 REF

Nouveau dictionnaire des difficultés du français moderne. PC 2630 .H33 2005 REF

La nouvelle grammaire en tableaux. By Marie-Eva de Villers. PC 2105 .V54 REF

One-Stop Fiche Shop: An Advanced Students' Guide to Writing Better Sentences in French
A collection of "fiches correctives" identifying and explaining difficulties and mistakes commonly made in French by English speakers. Includes correct usage examples from over 1,000 authors. By Australian National University French Professor, James Grieves.

A Reference Grammar of French.  By R.E. Batchelor. PC 2111 .B35793 2011 REF

Using the Library Catalogue

Many of these kinds of Reference Books can be found by searching the library catalogue using these Subject Headings:

French language -- Dictionaries

French language -- Grammar

French language -- Style


or enter the keywords in the Subject Field:

(e.g. French and idioms in SUBJECT)


NOTE:  Subject headings are in English, even if the book is in French.