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Michigan State University

French Language Dictionaries: Other Word Books: Synonyms, etc.

This is a guide to French language dictionaries in the M.S.U. Libraries in all formats. Last updated 06-21-2023

Other Word Books: Synonyms, etc.

Here find dictionaries of slang, antonyms, synonyms, illustrated dictionaries, thesauri, and books on “difficult words,” etc.

Grand Grammaire Historique du Francais  Main PC 2101 .G77 2020 v. 1-2

Large-scale works on the history of the French language are more than fifty years old and are characterized by a largely a-theoretical approach. This work deals with the evolution of French as a whole, by relying on the descriptive and theoretical research of the last decades. It is a work designed by themes and integrates all the major fields currently recognized by linguistics (phonetics/phonology, graphics, morphology, syntax, semantics, enunciation, lexicon, as well as external history). Based on a corpus of thirteen million words. The book aims to highlight the main principles of the evolution of the language.

Dictionnaire Historique de l'Adjectif-Adverbe  Main PC 2689 .H86 2021 v. 1-2

Identifies the groups of words in which a verb is combined with an adjective with an adverbial function. 2600 alphabetically arranged entries. They are attested by some 12,000 citations covering the history of the French language, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Tout l'Argot des Banlieues, le Dictionnaire de la Zone en 2600 Definitions Main PC 3741 .T46 2013
2600 modern French slang words dating from the 1980s plus a large number of older slang words.  There is a website established in 2005:

Dictionnaire Bilingue de l’Argot d’Aujourdhui=Bilingual Dictionary of Today’s Slang Main PE 3721 .B78 2004

Emphasis on British English.  French verlan “backslang” entries are restricted to those terms in common parlance.  Register is given, e.g. vulgar.  Older edition Main PE 3721 .B78 1996.

Dictionnaire d'Argot et des Locutions Populaires Main PC 3741 .L32 2010

Mots du Bitume, de Rabelais aux Rappeurs, Petit Dictionnaire de la Lange de la Rue Main PC 3741 .V56 2017

With power and lightness, humor and provocation, Aurore Vincenti sifts through the most beautiful nuggets of our contemporary vocabulary and restores nobility to a language often devalued. Dressed in the lyrics of the greatest modern rappers - Booba, Oxmo Puccino, Nekfeu ... Mots du Bitume opens the doors of a world overturned by the passions, a language that is built and shared. See the website

Dictionnaire des Difficultés de la Langue Francaise Main PC 2460 .T45 2007

Includes usage and recommendations, orthographic variants, pronunciation, punctuation, grammatical concepts, verb conjugations, barbarisms, synonyms, etc.  Contains both anglicisms and the official forms of the word.

Nouveau Dictionnaire des Difficultés du Français Moderne Main PC 2460 .H35

c1983. Organized alphabetically, contains words that are “difficult” from the aspect of pronunciation, orthography, vocabulary, or syntax.  Historical, social, and geographical (e.g. French, Belgian, Swiss, Québécois) variations are taken into consideration.

 Dictionnaire Étymologique du Français Main PC 2580 .P48 2009

In addition to etymologies and dates of usage, includes lists of variants and derived forms for many words, grouped as popular or learned (sometimes further subdivided for terms derived from Latin and from Greek.)

Dictionnaire des Analogies Main PC 2625 .D538 2009

Thésaurus Larousse: Des Mots aux Idées, des Idées aux Mots Main PC 2625 .D538 2009

A classified thesaurus with large sections for the world, individuals, and society and 873 subcategories.  Headwords with synonyms are listed alphabetically within categories.  Register is given (e.g. formal, slang, etc.) Index of all words listed.

Cambridge French-English Thesaurus Main PC 2591 .L24 1998

Classified thesaurus directed at English speakers, with 15 main sections and 142 subheadings.  Usage and register (e.g. formal, slang, etc.).  Index of all words listed.

Dictionnaire des Synonymes Main PC 2591 .C66 2012

Dictionnaire des Synonymes Main PC 2591 .D53 2007

“Ouvrage coronne par l’Academie Française.”

Using French Synonyms Main PC 2591 .B37 1993

Entries categorized in French.  Has index of English terms.

Dictionnaire des Synonymes Main PC 2591 .B45 1979

About 20,000 entry words, arranged alphabetically.  Register is given (e.g. formal, slang, etc.) 1971 edition with title Nouveau Dictionnaire des Synonymes Main PC 2591 .D45.

Grand Druide des Cooccurrences Main PV 2445 .C446 2012
No definitions or translations into English.  An innovative "dictionary" that lists the associations of the most significant words in the French language.  What adverb best describes the intensity of a passion, for instance?  Look up "amoureux" to get some ideas.  So, to be used sort of like a thesaurus.   10,000 entries and over 450,000 occurrences.  Computer algorithms used to produce it.

Pièges et Difficultés de la Langue Française Main PC 2460 .G57 2007

Grand Dictionnaire Difficultés & Pièges du Français Main PC 2460 .G73 2004

15,000 difficulties and snares in usage of French and 150 rules of usage.

Encyclopédie du Bon Français dans l’Usage Contemporain:  Difficultés, Subtilités, Complexités, Singularités Main PC 2625 .E4 t. 1-3

[1972]. Guide to good usage of about 10,000 terms.  Words treated at some length, with definitions from standard dictionaries quoted.  Academy strictures are cited, and illustrations of usage given from published sources.

Dictionnaire des Mots Savants de la Langue Française  Main PC 2689 .G67 2013

Short definitions of some 4,000 French words used in the press, radio, television to encourage people to know them better.

Vocabulaire de Sciences Cognitives  Main BF 311 .V63 2003

Lengthy entries for words in psychology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, cognitive linguistics and philosophy of the mind. 

Dictionnaire Historique et Philologique du Francais Non Conventionnel  Main PC 2689 .E53 2017

This book combines lexical phenomena according to a double criterion: [words] belonging to the scripturalized oral [language] and their unpublished character. [Entries] include: keyword, grammatical category, definition, dated and referenced citations/quotations, historical comments and analog references.--Info from publisher.

Dictionnaire du Français Non Conventionel Main PC 3741 .C4

c1981. Non Conventionel here means spoken and written French that is frequently used although technically incorrect.  Rather than “argot”’ (slang) this highlights familiar usage and words, as well as common turns of phrase.  Not all entries, which are from 1880-1960, are in current use, but in their time were used frequently.  Citations given, and brief etymologies.

French False Friends (Kirk-Greene) Main PC 2593 .K47 1981

Dictionary of paronyms.  “There are two main types of false friend.  The ‘standard’ one looks like an English word, but its meaning is different.  The other type is where the word does mean what it looks like but it has another, or other, meanings.  In addition, this book gives a number of semi-false friends: words which, while not being exactly like English words may none the less suggest an English word,  or, words that mean what they look as if they mean and are no trouble to translate but are dangerous in the sense that they have not the full meaning of the English word.” 

Dictionnaire des Expressions et Tournures Calquées sur l’Anglais Main PC 2582 .E5 P37 2006

French Dictionaries Main Z 2175 .D5 K55

Annotated list of French monolingual, French-English, and English-French dictionaries available in Dec., 1975. Includes dictionaries of etymology, phonetics, place-names, proper names, and slang.

Dictionnaire du Francais sous l'Occupation Main PC 2689 .K37 2013

Defines French words pertaining to the resistance movement, collaboration with the Germans, and daily life in France and Belgium between 1940 and 1945.

Introduction aux Dictionnaires les Plus Importants pour l’Histoire du Français Main PC2571 .B3 1974

Collection of essays by Kurt Baldinger and his students on the purpose, scope, strengths, and weaknesses of the most important etymological and historical French dictionaries.

Bibliographie des Dictionnaires Patois Galloromans (1550-1967) Main Z 2175 .D5 W3 1969

Incorporates corrections from the first edition and supplement.  A comprehensive listing of regional and dialect dictionaries from all parts of France and francophone countries.

Dictionnaire du Francais Classique Litteraire de Corneille a Chateaubriand  Main PC 2680 .H67 2015

Brief dictionary definitions, parts of speech, and usage of word in a sentence from specific literary works of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Notions d'Histoire de la Traduction Main P 306.2 .D45 2021

Over 850 terms.  First dictionary devoted to this branch of translation studies.  Brings together the concepts and terms that translators, historians, professors, writers, and critics have used over the centuries to talk about translation and its history.  Each concept has a formal definition and is accompanied by examples and remarks of an encyclopedic, etymological, historical, or linguistic nature.  Author is emeritus professor of University of Ottawa (Canada) and author of other books in this field.