6 Best Spanish Dictionary Apps Reviewed for 2023
Dictionaries are extremely important learning tools, but they’re often neglected by modern Spanish learners in favor of more tech-savvy options.
You’ve already got access to Spanish flashcard apps, learning podcasts and more on-the-go tools thanks to your smartphone.
So, why do you need such a seemingly archaic tool as a dictionary? Let’s find out!
In this post, we’ll cover the top 6 Spanish dictionary apps, including special features, where to get them and the pros and cons of each one.
- Top Spanish Dictionary Apps
- Using Your Spanish Dictionary App
Top Spanish Dictionary Apps
Spanish language dictionaries are awesome tools for intermediate to advanced learners, who are constantly striving to become more completely immersed in the Spanish language.
So, if your Spanish level is good enough that you don’t need direct English translations, and Spanish language definitions are sufficient for your purposes, then this is seriously a great way to go. It’s kind of like having a built-in thesaurus app, since you’ll come across plenty of synonyms while reading definitions.
If you’re not 100% sure you can handle so much Spanish in your dictionary, just give yourself a challenge and try this out anyway. You’ll probably surprise yourself with how much you’ll understand! Without understanding every last word in a word’s definition, you’ll still get a good sense of the word’s general meaning.
1. Diccionario RAE y ASALE (DLE)
Access on: Android | iPhone
This is the official dictionary of the Real Academia Española, a royal organization that manages the Spanish language as a whole. Some of the greatest artistic, literary and scientific minds issued the print version of this bad boy, so it’s essentially an extension of their name and institutional mission.
This dictionary app allows you to peruse the RAE language database with a classy layout that simply makes you feel academic. As for the practical aspect of this app, it has tons of available vocabulary, verb conjugations and a rather refined search function.
2. FluentU Spanish
Access on: Android | iPhone| Browser
Price: Pricing page
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos topics, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used.
Plus, if you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.
Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re studying with the same video.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Sign up by November 28th to receive a 60% discount with our Black Friday sale!
3. Diccionario Español by Smartpcx
Access on: Android
Special features abound in this unassuming Spanish-Spanish dictionary. Tons of vocabulary is available offline, and you can save and store vocabulary lists at will. Color-coded themes and distinctive categories will help organize new information in your mind as you learn it.
Don’t know how to spell a word? Voice recognition technology will let you simply speak the word you want to search. It even has a cute little interface feature that lets you flip pages with a swipe of the fingertip, just like in a real-life book.
4. SpanishDict Translator
Access on: Android | iPhone
This is arguably the best free Spanish-English dictionary app on the market these days.
You’ll be able to keep track of recently searched words, receive a word of the day, save words you want to go back to, play addictive learning games, listen to audio recordings of need-to-know phrases and more.
It’s not all fun and games though—this app has a formidable offline dictionary, which is pretty much as good as it gets when it comes to free services. This app has also come a long way in terms of technological improvements and is running smoother and faster than ever.
5. QuickDic Dictionary
Access on: Android
This open-source, totally offline dictionary opens up a whole new world of vocabulary search potential. If you want a dictionary for more than one single language (for example, if you also know German or are a native French speaker) this app’s got the golden ticket for you. It offers smart search, which will suggest words you may be looking for.
It allows you to save your search history and key words for future reference. The Spanish-English comes built-in and is one of the more complete dictionaries available here.
6. WordReference.com Dictionaries
Access on: Android | iPhone
This online dictionary is a staple of language learning. While doing translation work and writing in Spanish, it’s my constant companion.
This dictionary’s purpose is to give you accurate translations based on context. If you’re looking to convey a specific vibe or track down slang specific to an obscure region, this app is your best bet. Even for simpler vocabulary searches, you’ll always get the exact word that you need to convey the right meaning.
Using Your Spanish Dictionary App
- Fill in the blanks. When you forget the word, look it up! It’s as simple as that. Sometimes you’ll just need some instant gratification so your conversation (or thought process) won’t shudder to a sudden halt.
- Set a time limit. It may almost feel like you’d be cheating to break out the smartphone every time you forget a word. Well, you don’t have to do that. Let your brain struggle and flounder to recall vocabulary and grammar on its own. This teaches your brain how to dig for important linguistic information. If you give up too quickly, you will no longer have this skill. That being said, you don’t have to be too strict about not looking up information. Give yourself a certain amount of time. If within, say, 2-3 minutes you can’t break through your brain block, you can resolve to look up that pesky word.
- Keep the brain train working. When trying to recall a vocabulary word—even if you’re alone—talk or think your way as close to the word as humanly possible. For example, if I were trying to think of the word “catnip” in English, I might try to describe it by saying something like, “It’s that plant stuff you give to cats and it makes them go totally crazy. It’s like a drug for cats…” Then, I’d just keep going around and around until I finally have the word pop into my brain, or until a conversation partner clues me in.
- Always have a “word of the day.” Some of the dictionary apps reviewed below have a “word of the day” feature on their home screens or have a connected social media company profile that provides followers with daily vocabulary. If you don’t get one automatically, browse and select a random word every day. Copy down the word and its definition in a notebook and keep a running list.
Now that you’ve found a dictionary, find something to translate! Having a good dictionary handy helps you enjoy authentic native content like books and movies. And watching Spanish media is a fun way to learn new words and phrases in the language.
Whether you’re chatting with Spanish-speaking friends or watching Spanish language content, a good dictionary will help you keep up during your language practice.
If you’re looking for Spanish-only dictionaries, check out these excellent options available online next!