5 Top English Learner Dictionaries

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Bilingual dictionaries are great, but English learner dictionaries are better. These dictionaries have been designed with English learners in mind, and as such provide extra learning tools for pronunciation, verb types, basic grammar structures, and more. These dictionaries are also designed with standard test syllabi in mind, so learners are guided towards the TOEFL, IELTS, or any of the Cambridge Suite of Exams (PET, KET, FCE, CAE, and Proficiency).

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Longman Learner's Dictionary of American English

"Longman Handy Learner's Dictionary of American English" book cover.

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"Longman" is the very best dictionary for students learning English to study, live, and work in North America. This dictionary provides lots of handy reference materials, special in-depth looks at issues such as idioms, phrasal verbs, and more.

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American Heritage Dictionary for Learners of English

"American Heritage Dictionary for Learners of English" book cover.

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"The American Heritage Dictionary for Learners of English" is specially designed to suit the needs of ESL students. An up-to-date word list, definitions adapted from "The American Heritage Dictionary" databases, abundant sample sentences and phrases, and an easy-to-use alphabetic pronunciation system all create an excellent learning tool.

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Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Book cover of "Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary."

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The standard in British English, the "Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary" is the ideal tool for English learners who wish to take any of the Cambridge advanced exams (FCE, CAE, and Proficiency). This dictionary includes a learning CD-ROM with helpful resources and exercises.

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Oxford Elementary Learner's Dictionary of English

"Oxford Elementary Learner's Dictionary" book cover.

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For lower-level learners, the "Oxford Elementary Learner's Dictionary of English" provides key English learning resources especially suited for British English classes.

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Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

"Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary" cover.

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Oxford's "Advanced Learner's Dictionary" is suited to advanced level learners of British English. Unlike most North American resources, Oxford does a great job of providing comparisons between standard North American and British English. This dictionary is excellent for those who wish to study English as a ​​global language.

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Beare, Kenneth. "5 Top English Learner Dictionaries." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, thoughtco.com/top-english-learner-dictionaries-1210340. Beare, Kenneth. (2020, August 28). 5 Top English Learner Dictionaries. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-english-learner-dictionaries-1210340 Beare, Kenneth. "5 Top English Learner Dictionaries." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-english-learner-dictionaries-1210340 (accessed June 10, 2023).