Updated Oct. 4, 2010.
Prepared by Mary Whisner & Cheryl Nyberg
The Gallagher Law Library has many legal and foreign-language dictionaries. Additional dictionaries are available on LexisNexis and Westlaw (for UW Law School students who have passwords and IDs) and on the Internet.
Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession, 3d ed. KF156.R42 2001 at Reference Area LexisNexis: MDLP
Garner, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, 2d ed. KF156.G367 1995 at Reference Office LexisNexis: DMLU. Offers guidance for writers (and speakers) who want to use language well.
Ballentine's Law Dictionary, 3d ed. KF156.B3 1969 at Reference Area & Classified Stacks. LexisNexis: BTINES
The Law Dictionary. LexisNexis: LAWDIC
Merriam Webster's Dictionary of Law (1996) is on Findlaw.
Oran's Dictionary of the Law, 4th ed. KF156.O7 2008 at Reference Area
Cornell's Legal Information Institute Wex is an online legal dictionary and encyclopedia.
Dean's Law Dictionary is an online-only dictionary.
Other general legal dictionaries can be found by searching the Law Library's catalog by subject: Law--United States--Dictionaries.
Introductory or Aimed at Nonlawyers
Washington Courts, A Guide to Terms Used in Washington Courts
U.S. Courts, Commonly Used Terms
WashingtonLawHelp includes a glossary compiled by the Northwest Justice Project.
Nolo's Everybody's Legal Dictionary
1001 Legal Words You Need to Know, KF156.A113 2003 at Classified Stacks
Harvard Law Library's One-L Dictionary is a list of basic terms with straightforward definitions aimed at beginning law students.
Glossary of Terms Used in Legal Research (from Fundamentals of Legal Research)
|Subject||Title||Call Number & Location|
|International law||Parry & Grant Encylopaedic Dictionary of International Law, 2d ed.||KZ1161.P37 2004 at Reference Area|
|Dictionary of International & Comparative Law, 3d ed.||KZ1161.F69 2003 at Reference Area|
|International Law: A Dictionary||KZ1161.B63 2005 at Reference Area|
|Beck's Law Dictionary: A Compendium of International Law Terms and Phrases|
|Law & economics, legal theory||A Dictionary of Legal Theory||K204.B59 2004 at Classified Stacks|
|The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law||K487.E3 N49 1998 at Classified Stacks|
|Medical||AmJur Proof of Facts 3d. Attorney's Illustrated Medical Dictionary||KF8933.A45 2002 at Reference Area|
|Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 25th ed.||R121.S8 1990 at Reference Area
Westlaw: STEDMANS (27th ed.)
|Patents||Modern Patent Law Precedent, 5th ed.||KF3109.A35 2003 at Classified Stacks
|USPTO Patent and Trademark Glossary|
|Tax||West's Tax Law Dictionary||KF6287.S64 at Reference Area
|WG & L Tax Dictionary||KF6287.W478 2000 at Classified Stacks|
The following list identifies some, but not all, bilingual and multilingual legal dictionaries available at the Gallagher Law Library. For more information, see the language section of the Gallagher guide on Research in Foreign & Comparative Law.
To find more bilingual dictionaries, search the Law Library catalog for the language and "dictionaries." For example, search for Subject Heading: german language dictionaries english.
|English /||Call Number & Location|
|Chinese||several titles at K52.C5 at Reference Area|
|PL1455.A33 2003 at Reference Area|
|English/Chinese Glossary of Legal Terms|
|French||K52.F7D34 1995 at Reference Area & LexisNexis: FRDAHL|
|German||K52.G4B37 1947 at Classified Stacks|
|Japanese||several titles at K52.J3 at Reference Area & Classified Stacks|
|Korean||K52.K6K6 1996 at Reference Area|
|Multilingual / Polyglot||West's Law and Commercial Dictionary in Five Languages. K54.W47 1985 at Reference Office|
|Portugese||K52.P67G69 1994 at Classified Stacks|
|Russian||K52.R8D43 1995 at Classified Stacks|
|Spanish||K52.S7R65 1992 at Staff Office|
|K52.S6C33 1991 at Reference Area|
Legal Dictionaries from Non-U.S. Jurisdictions
Duhaime's Legal Dictionary (Canada)
European Commission (EU), Glossary
Her Majesty's Courts Service (UK), HMCS Legal Terms
Acronyms and Abbreviations, adapted from the Washington Legal Researcher's Deskbook 3d.
Bieber's Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations (5th ed. 2001). KF246.B46 2001 at Reference Area & Reference Office. LexisNexis: BIEBLA
Bluebook Abbreviations of Law Review Titles from the Current Index to Legal Periodicals.
U.S. Government: Commonly Used Abbreviations and Acronyms from the U.S. Government Manual.Foreign & International
Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations, from Cardiff University Law Library
World Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations. K85.K3 1991 at Reference Office & Classified Stacks
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th ed. PE 1625.A54 2000 at Reference Office & Bartleby
Oxford English Dictionary (1933). PE1625.O87 1933 at Reference Area
Webster's New Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. PE1625.W36 1981 at Reference Area & Reference Office