Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

Title page of the 6th edition of the Académie's dictionary (1835)

The Dictionnaire de l'Académie française is the official dictionary of the French language.

The Académie française is France's official authority on the usages, vocabulary, and grammar of the French language, although its recommendations carry no legal power. Sometimes, even governmental authorities disregard the Académie's rulings.


A special Commission (Commission du dictionnaire) composed of several (but not all) of the members of the Académie undertakes the compilation of the dictionary. It has published thirteen editions of the dictionary, of which three were preliminary, eight were complete, and two were supplements for specialised words.[1] These include:

Preliminary editions:

Vocabulaire de la langue française; par MM. Nodier et Ackermann, Paris, 1868

Complete editions:

Supplementary editions for the sciences, arts, and technology:

In 1778, the Académie attempted to compile a "historical dictionary" of the French language. The project was later abandoned, having failed to progress beyond the letter "A".

The 8th edition of 1935 contained approximately 35,000 words. The Académie continues work on the ninth edition, begun in 1986, of which the first volume (A to Enzyme) was published in 1992 (ISBN 2-213-62142-X), the second (Éocène to Mappemonde) in 2000 (ISBN 2-213-62143-8), and the third (Maquereau to Quotité) in 2011 (ISBN 2-213-66640-7). As the work goes on, additional parts of the Dictionnaire are published in the Documents administratifs of the Journal Officiel, and posted online. The finalised ninth edition is expected to contain about 28,000 new words (60,000 in total). In part because the current edition dates from 1935, other dictionaries (such as those published by Larousse and Le Robert) are more commonly used as everyday reference sources than the Académie's.

See also


  1. Classiques Garnier numérique, Corpus of Dictionaries of the French Academy (from the 17th to the 20th Century), Retrieved 2011-03-17

External links

Searchable original texts

Facsimile reproductions

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France:

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