An Icelandic-English Dictionary

Richard Cleasby and Gudbrand Vigfusson, Oxford, 1874.

Most recent update: 2023-3-19


This site implements the ELEXIS Protocol for accessing dictionaries (version 1.0).

Help Improve the Dictionary

If you find typos, formatting errors, OCR errors, and/or internal references that are missing a link (or existing links that point to the wrong location), please

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This version of An Icelandic-English Dictionary builds on the work of the Germanic 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 fiddling with conversion scripts off and on for a couple years, I finally attacked the project as a whole the summer of 2019 and have worked on it, as time permitted, since then. Specifically, I've completed 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 ).

—Scott Burt

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. There was a hiatus in the project from 2008-2020, but it looks like things are moving forward again.

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

Large runic thorn logo Germanic Lexicon Project




White Supremacy and Norse/Medieval Studies

There is a long history of people intentionally misrepresenting the history of medieval Europe and co-opting medieval symbols to support their racist political agendas. The Nazis infamously appropriated many facets of Nordic heritage and used it to justify genocide. Modern white supremacists and Neo-Nazis continue to use medieval symbols and distorted views of medieval Europe in their rallies and propaganda. Indeed, this has become so prevalent in recent times that those of us who are interested in various facets of medievalism or Norse history must be actively anti-racist lest our silence be taken as implicit support for these white supremacist groups and their hateful ideologies.

In other words, white supremacists and related bigots can find another source to use. You're not welcome here.

Here are some articles and resources related to the growing need for anti-racism in medieval studies and hobbies that include medieval and Norse topics: