Find a book: choosing a children's dictionary

Just as you might not give War and Peace to an 8 year old, giving a child an adult dictionary, with complex definitions and phonetic symbols, is likely to be difficult to understand.

Children’s vocabulary, comprehension and language skills develop as they grow older – and the level they are at can depend on what they’re learning at school, what books they like to read, and what their friends are talking about.

A dictionary and thesaurus at home and at school are vital tools in developing and enriching children’s language as well as helping to improve their spelling.

Oxford Dictionaries for Children are compiled specially for children – they are not cut-down versions of our adult dictionaries.

Our children’s dictionaries define words using a context that is familiar to and appropriate for each child’s age, with example sentences to illustrate how these words can be used, e.g. when defining the word ‘buy’, the definition will be to ‘buy’ sweets, rather than a house, because children don’t ‘buy’ houses! Where a word has more than one meaning, each one is numbered.

Browse our range of dictionaries for children below or find the right dictionary to suit your child with our interactive English dictionary selector and bilingual dictionary selector.

Oxford Children's Dictionary

English Dictionaries and Thesauruses

Oxford Dictionaries for Children give children the crucial skills they need to succeed as readers and writers.

See our range of English dictionaries and thesauruses for ages 4-11+ below.

Age 4+ >
Age 7+ >
Age 10+ >

Oxford Spanish-English Visual Dictionary

Bilingual Dictionaries

All the words students need for successful modern foreign language use, covering a range of languages from French to Chinese.

See our range of bilingual dictionaries for ages 5-11+ below.

Age 5+ >
Age 7+ >
Age 10+ >

Oxford Better Spelling 7-9

Subject Dictionaries and Language Reference

Helping children succeed across core school subjects, from improving spelling skills to defining mathematical and scientific terms.

See our range of subject dictionaries and language reference books for ages 5-14+ below.

Age 5+ >
Age 7+ >
Age 14+ >

Oxford Better Spelling 7-9

Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation

Essential guides to grammar, punctuation and spelling, including both dictionaries and flashcards.

See our range of spelling, grammar and punctuation dictionaries for ages 7-11+ below.

Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation Dictionaries >

Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary

NEW – Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary

For the very first time – an illustrated Shakespearean dictionary for teenagers. Ideal for use at GCSE and for all who love reading, studying, watching or performing Shakespeare.

Find out more >


How to Write Your Best Story Ever!

NEW – How to Write Your Best Story Ever!

Awaken the author in your child! This inspiring book is packed full of ideas to help children aged 13 and under write their best stories ever.

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