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Legal Dictionaries

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Government Information Connection (3840 bytes)Government Documents Department, Univeristy of North Texas Libraries  (1653 bytes)



Legal Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Thesauri 
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* General Law

* United States Law

* State Law

* Foreign and International Law

* Topically-Oriented Dictionaries

* Historical Dictionaries

Guide to Legal Abbreviations (St. Mary's University Law Library)


General Law

Ballentine’s Law Dictionary
KF156 .B3 1969  Located in Willis Library, Third Floor
Somewhat dated, but useful for looking up Latin, French, and Saxon words and phrases.

Black’s Law Dictionary
KF156 .B53 Located at Government Documents Service Desk in Willis Library
The most extensive legal dictionary commonly available. The seventh edition has the most clear and up-to-date definitions, but the previous editions provide references to court cases the definitions were derived from, a feature that was dropped in the seventh edition.

A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, by Bryan A. Garner
KF156 .G367 1987   Located in Willis Library, Third Floor
Goes beyond defining terms by distinguishing fine points, giving advice on how to use terms correctly, and outlining how a term has been used through history.

Duhaime’s Law Dictionary (Lloyd Duhaime)
Legal terms explained in plain language by a Canadian lawyer, arranged alphabetically with extensive cross-links.

Glossary of Legal Terms (LexisNexis)
Search or browse a list of legal terms based on Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law (©2001).

Law Dictionary (law.com)
Browse an alphabetical list or search terms and definitions by keyword.

Law Dictionary (LawyerInt.com)
Online dictionary based primarily on the 1856 edition of Bouvier’s A Law Dictionary, which is a classic and scholarly reference work, but rather out of date now. You can Ask for a Legal Term if you need a definition but can’t find one. The editors will find the definition and add it to the dictionary. You can also Submit a Legal Term if you know a term and its definition and want it added to the dictionary. The editors will check your definition and add it.

Law Dictionary, by Steven H. Gifis
KF156 .G53 1991  Located at Government Documents Service Desk
Easy-to-understand definitions of the most common legal terms, with references to defining cases. Useful for students.

Legal Dictionary (FindLaw)
Enter a law-related term to search this database.

Legal Lexicon ('Lectric Law Library)
Definitions and explanations of thousands of legal terms, phrases, and concepts, arranged in alphabetical order.

Legal Thesaurus, by William C. Burton
Located at Government Documents Service Desk under Call Number KF156 .B856 1992
Provides synonyms and definitions for legal terms, an overview of federal “plain language” requirements, and associated legal concepts. This work is useful for distinguishing fine shades of meaning or for finding alternative terms or concepts to use in indexes and databases.

List of Legal Topics (Wikipedia)
A linked list of all Wikipedia articles on the subject of law, arranged alphabetically by title.

Subject Term Index (Global Legal Information Network)
This is a searchable database of authorized terms used to index subjects used in GLIN, a full-text database of official legal documents contributed by government agencies and international organizations. It is an example of a controlled vocabulary.

Oran’s Dictionary of the Law (3rd edition), by Daniel Oran; Mark Tosti, contributing author
netLibrary edition available online to the UNT Community
Provides concise, up-to-date definitions suitable for a broad audience. Includes a list of 50 basic words used in the law, a brief guide to legal research, and illustrations and diagrams of selected concepts such as government organization, sources of the law, the National Reporter system, and the Statsky cartwheel system of generating a list of keywords for research.

West’s Legal Thesaurus/Dictionary, by William P. Statsky
KF156 .S7 1985    Located at Government Documents Service Desk
This book offers synonyms, antonyms, and pronunciation guides for legal words and terms. It also explains how to use the terms in a sentence.

Wex (Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School)
A collaboratively-edited legal dictionary and encyclopedia (using wiki software), designed to meet the needs of law novices. Articles are written from a perspective of United States law, but include information on international and comparative law. Much of the material that appears in Wex was originally developed for the Legal Information Institute’s “Law about...” pages, which Wex has replaced.

Words and Phrases
KF156 .W6  Located in Willis Library, Third Floor
This multivolume set, updated by pocket parts, cites federal and state court cases that have defined and re-defined legal terms at various times and within various legal contexts.

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