The 10 Best Crossword Puzzle Dictionaries

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This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in February of 2018. For many people, sitting down to a daily or weekly crossword puzzle is a great chance to get some time away from phone and computer screens. And it can be fun, enlightening, mentally stimulating -- and frustrating. If you find yourself getting stumped by some tricky clues from time to time, these specialist dictionaries can give you the help you need without resorting to the Internet. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Merriam-Webster's Crossword Puzzle Dictionary

2. New Comprehensive A-Z Crossword Dictionary

3. The Million Word Crossword Dictionary

Editor's Notes

June 29, 2020:

Even with the advent of technology, old-fashioned wordplay teasers like crossword puzzles and scrabble have never been more popular. They offer a challenge that makes for a surprisingly soothing pastime, but since not everyone has an entire lexicon of common and obscure phrases, non-English terms, and current events in their heads, a crossword dictionary is of vital importance if you regularly complete these puzzles. They're especially helpful if you're trying to stay away from electronic devices for a while and don't want to jump on a computer for help.

For today's update, we sadly said goodbye to the New York Times Third Edition, as it is too outdated to keep around. While we kept some dated editions like Crossword Puzzle Dictionary 6th Edition and New Comprehensive A-Z Crossword Dictionary, The Times' dictionary still feels antiquated, despite being revised three times since its original 1974 publication. This removal brought our list to around seven entries, and so we took the opportunity to bring a few new selections into the fold.

We added The Beginner's Crossword Dictionary to help newbies get going in this meditative, stimulating hobby, and the breezy The Crossword Puzzler's Handbook for seasoned enthusiasts to round out their arsenal with a book that supplies very obscure entries. Finally, we brought on The Chambers Crossword Dictionary, a very comprehensive and thorough edition. It features contributions and guidance from several experts. Just be aware that it uses British spelling, which makes it less helpful for American crosswords in some instances. It's quite handy for solving cryptics, which are especially popular in the UK.

Special Honors

Wordscapes App If you're looking to take a break from crosswords but still want to use the newfound knowledge gained from your crossword dictionary, Wordscapes is a modern, brain-teasing word game that combines elements of crosswords and word searches. It starts easy and gets more challenging as you clear each level. Solver For those struggling with a head-scratcher, there's's crossword solver page. You enter the given clue, the letters you already have, and length, and the website will generate help from thousands of answers for you.

4. New American Crossword Puzzle Dictionary

5. The Chambers Crossword Dictionary

6. The Crossword Puzzler's Handbook

7. Webster's New Explorer

8. The Beginner's Crossword Dictionary

9. Crossword Puzzle Dictionary 6th Edition

10. The 21st Century Crossword Puzzle Dictionary

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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