César-Pierre Richelet

César-Pierre Richelet (8 November 1626 – 23 November 1698) was a French grammarian and lexicographer, and the editor of the first dictionary of the French language.

César-Pierre Richelet, bust at Cheminon.


Richelet was born in Cheminon. His first position was regent of the College of Vitry-le-François, next preceptor in Dijon. Received as an advocate in service to the Parliament of Paris, he abandoned his affairs for literature and researched the Society of Perrot d'Ablancourt and that of Petru. He strengthened his knowledge of classical languages, learned Italian and Spanish, and applied himself above all to discovering the origins of the French language. He died in Paris.


He is the author of the first French dictionary compiled in a methodical way, published under the title of:

His caustic sense of humour earned him enemies; this first edition, of which there were several counterfeit foreign editions, contains satirical passages at the expense of notables of the day including Amelot de La Houssaye, Furetière, Varillas, and others.

Later editions of Richelet were published, both expurgated and augmented. Those that appeared after his death are distinguished by that of Pierre Aubert (Lyon, 1728, 3 vol. in-fol.) and that of Goujet (Ibid., 1759–63, 3 vol. in-fol.). Later editions were abridged such as that of Gattel (Paris, 1842, 2 vol. in-8).

Other works by Richelet are:

He was also the author of several untitled translations as well as:

His Dictionnaire françois is distinguished in:


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