Japanese to Japanese dictionary

Hello people.Does anyone know of a Japanese to Japanese dictionary.I know there are ones that are obviously meant for Japanese people but is there anything with simple explanations in Japanese.The Anki deck I got takes ages because it’s all in Japanese (it’s good though because then I’ll learn with a Japanese mind :joy:.)This is sometimes a problem though because either I can’t read the kanji or I don’t know the word that explains it.But I don’t want to translate it in to English 手伝って!!!

I use https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/

Takes some time/practice getting used to it. Explanations are not simplified or dumbed down, though. Really depends on the extent of your current vocabulary.


Thank you! I guess practice makes perfect :sweat_smile:

If you haven’t yet, I recommend installing browser extensions like Rikaikun and Yomichan - they definitely help on making it a lot easier to look up the words you don’t know yet.

Depends on what ‘simple’ means. For example, I find that Shinmeikai explanations are a lot longer than others on average, but the words used are usually simpler/more common than in other dictionaries with very short explanations. Meikyou is typically quite understandable and to the point, but offers less potentially helpful detail. Both of these are paid JP-JP dictionaries though. Previous editions are available for free on a website I’ve seen, but I don’t know if they’re actually legal. The website seems to have been online for quite a while though.

I think the simplest explanations are probably the ones you’ll find on JP Wiktionary, honestly. The problem is that there’s no guarantee they’re accurate.


This is what made the Jalup decks so amazing for me and why it’s a bit sad the original author is no longer in business. The cards were arranged such that later definitions used words learned earlier.

One thing that helps though is to start doing dictionary dives in which you just keep doing lookups until you hit something you do know and then work your way back up.

The other thing is that getting used to J-J definitions is a skill in itself since dictionary language is almost its own thing. It gets easier with practice.


Always happy to see people join team monolingual :+1:

If you have an iPad, there is 例解学習国語辞典 第九版, which is a dictionary intended for elementary school students.The explanations are really short and to the point, using very little vocabulary. Sounds great, but personally I didn’t get much use out of this.
Using a combination of different dictionaries intended for adults was easier for me.

I’ve used a lot of different dictionaries over the years. Daijisen, Shinmeikai, Daijirin, NHK Accent, Sanseido, Meikyou, Oubunsha and a bunch of others I can’t think of right now.
The ones that stuck out for me are:
Meikyou (明鏡国語辞典): Detailed but still easy to understand, imo the best one for language learners.
Daijirin (大辞林): Imo the best of the “big ones”. Most detailed definitions of the three.
Sanseido (三省堂国語辞典): Very concise definitions.
If you have an iOS or macOS device you can get these in the monokakido dictionaries app. Daijirin is also the dictionary that comes natively with any apple devices. (But of course you can also find these through other means)


The Dictionaries app in particular is really good for dictionary dives since you can just swipe to go back up the stack.