An Icelandic-English Dictionary

Richard Cleasby and Gudbrand Vigfusson, Oxford, 1874.


This version of An Icelandic-English Dictionary builds on the work of the German Lexicon Project. I've made regular use of the original online version since 2004 and I always found it a valuable and convenient resource. However, the project stopped incorporating corrections prior to 2008 and, over the years, I found myself wanting to clean up those remaining errors, convert the text encoding entirely to Unicode, and make it easier to navigate the dictionary (especially when using the scanned images). I hope that my efforts in improving the online dictionary will be found useful by students and hobbyists alike.

After several years of playing with scripts to convert the XML tags into proper Unicode, I finally attacked the project as a whole in early 2019 and worked on it, as time permitted, throughout that year. Specifically, I've done the following:

I have included the many OCR corrections from Thomas Stridman's version of this dictionary. His improvements to the original project were particularly valuable for the Greek words and phrases (none of which were interpreted correctly by the original OCR process). He also moved most of the Errata and Addenda into the main text.

I have embedded the Junicode font for the text. This typeface is based on George Hickes Linguarum vett. septentrionalium thesaurus grammatico-criticus et archaeologicus (Oxford, Sheldonian Theatre, 1703–1705). It's specifically designed for medievalists (i.e., it implements the Medieval Unicode Font Initiative, version 4.0) and contains several features useful for this project like runic characters, proper Nordic shapes for þ and ð, and a number of unusual characters found in manuscripts that are sometimes used in the dictionary (e.g.,  and ).

If you find typos, formatting errors, OCR errors, and/or internal references that could use a link, please let me know.

—Scott Burt, 2019

Links to Other Online Dictionaries


Information from the original project

Cleasby/Vigfusson is the most comprehensive and authoritative dictionary on Old Icelandic.

The copyright on this dictionary is expired. You are welcome to copy this data, post it on other web sites, create derived works, or use the data in any other way you please. As a courtesy, please credit the Germanic Lexicon Project.

Work on this project started in 2003. It was one of the major ongoing projects, with correction work being performed by volunteers worldwide. The goal was to produce a fully corrected document, marked up in XML.

Sean Crist initiated and was directing the project, and also did the OCR, major software design and programming, and ongoing global corrections.

Scanning and preparation of these page images was made possible by a grant from the American-Scandinavian Foundation.

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