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Latin Dictionaries for iPad

Latin +

Latin +

Latin + aims to do one thing and one thing only: provide Latin to English dictionary lookup for iPad and iPhone, and to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible. It includes the Lewis & Short in full, offline form, along with an instant lookup feature that means words are matched as soon as you start typing - you even see a brief summary of the definition before you tap for the full L&S entry.

As a bonus, Latin + also includes Whitakers Words and an English to Latin "reverse search" tool that lets you search the dictionary by definition. These both also benefit from the instant lookup functionality, which makes this app a bargain at $0.99.

Pros: Very cheap, very fast — about as good a dictionary as you can hope for.

Cons: Doesn't parse verb forms.

Price: $0.99 / £0.69 — View on App Store >>

SPQR Latin Dictionary and Reader

SPQR Latin Dictionary and Reader

For those with more cash to spend, SPQR includes all of the Latin + app described above, plus its other features. It includes the Lewis & Short dictionary like Latin +, but takes dictionary searching a step forward by allowing you to parse any Latin word form and look up its meaning and conjugation instantly, which is a huge help to students.

SPQR also allows you to search the dictionary while you're using other parts of the app. For example, if you're reading Caesar's Gallic Wars and want more information about a word, you can select it and look it up in the L&S.

Pros: Very fast, and well-integrated with the rest of the app.

Cons: A little expensive if all you want is a dictionary.

Price: $6.99 / £4.99 — View on App Store >>

Collins Latin Dictionary

Collins Latin Dictionary

Although very well respected in print, the Collins Latin app is surprisingly poor given the size of the company. Although attempts have been made to fix its flaws, most of them remain: an overly simple user interface, incomplete definitions, and very little attempt to cater for actual Latin students. The lack of instant definitions for words means you can sometimes feel like you're fumbling around in the dark, which for this price is unacceptable.

On the up side, this app does at least give you some usage examples for words, although these are nearly always limited to made-up examples rather than actual historical usage. Collins can do much better than this, which is such a shame.

Pros: Some words come with usage examples.

Cons: Expensive, incomplete and poorly designed.

Price: $9.99 / £6.99 — View on App Store >>

Latin +

Latin Dictionary

David Finucane's Latin Dictionary was one of the earliest Latin dictionary apps available on the App Store, if not the earliest. As a result, it set the trend for everything that's followed it, but hasn't really kept with the times &mdash in fact it hasn't received any update at all in over three years..

The lack of updates means it has no iPhone retina graphics, it's not compatible (retina or otherwise), and it's lacking some basic features that other apps have added later. Still, if it weren't for David's work, other later apps might never have existed!

Pros: None.

Cons: iPhone-only; non-retina; limited search.

Price: $3.99 / £2.49 — View on App Store >>

Lexidium

Lexidium

Lexidium is a good, if expensive, Latin dictionary, and includes Lewis & Short and Whitakers Words. It also has a fast instant lookup feature that searches as you type, and presents a brief definition of each matching word — this makes searching very efficient. Once you find the word you want, tap on it to see the full L&S definition.

Lexidium's killer feature is its built-in "Parsimonious" word parser, which lets you enter a word and see it parsed. It is, however, not included in the price of the app, so you'll need to pay another $3.99 / £2.49 to unlock this feature. This feature is now available in other apps that cost less, and Lexidium is apparently no longer maintained by its creator, so this is one to skip.

Pros: Fast; Parsimonious, if you pay for it, is pretty good.

Cons: Not cheap, particularly because Parsimonious is an extra purchase. Not updated.

Price: $3.99 / £2.49 for the basic app; $3.99 / £2.49 more for Parsimonious — View on App Store >>

Alternatively, if you find yourself away from your iPhone or iPad and need to search a latin dictionary fast, try this online Latin dictionary - it's not comprehensive, but it might be enough for your needs!