Cleasby & Vigfusson Old Norse dictionary

Online version of the classic Old Norse / Old Icelandic dictionary by Richard Cleasby & Gudbrand Vigfusson, originally published in 1874

It is the largest Old Norse to English dictionary. Containing over 35 000 entries with English definitions, it is one of the most important resources for the norse language.

Search the dictionary

What is Old Norse?

Old Norse is a dead language, that was the father of modern languages like Icelandic, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Faroese and Elfdalian.

It was spoken by Scandinavians during the Viking Age, making it the "language of vikings".

Written language of the dictionary

The dictionary was published in the late 1800's, making the language of the definitions a bit old fashioned. The author also seemed to prefer cognates, meaning that definition may use lesser known English word that happens to have more similar root to the Old Norse word. For example, spyrja is not simply "to ask", but instead "to speer", which is an older English word meaning the same thing.

The Cleasby & Vigfusson book also used modern Icelandic practice of using letter ö to represent the original Old Norse vowel ǫ. Whenever this letter appears in a headword, an automatic alternative form is also provided.

For example, völlr would become vǫllr.

Random entries from the dictionary: