Using a Russian-only dictionary

I had trouble using mono-Russian dictionaries in part because I didn't understand the linguistic terms and abbreviations and I couldn't find any resources in English to help use a dictionary, so I compiled some on my own. I don't know how course-making works, but if it were possible, it would be nice if all duolingo courses had a bonus skill that taught you linguistic terms and dictionary abbreviations. I'm going to use this as a reference for myself too, so feel free to correct, add on, or share anything that can help with this. (stressed syllables are marked with a ['] preceding the vowel)

Part of Speech (ч'асть р'ечи)

  • существ'ительное [имя] - noun
  • прилаг'ательное [имя] - adjective
  • глаг'ол - verb
  • нар'ечие - adverb
  • предл'ог - preposition
  • со'юз - conjunction
  • ч'астица - particle

Case (пад'еж)

  • имен'ительный (Им.) - nominative
  • род'ительный (Рд.) - genitive
  • д'ательный (Дт.) - dative
  • вин'ительный (Вн.) - accusative
  • твор'ительный (Тв.) - instrumental
  • предл'ожный (Пр.) - prepositional

Gender and Number ([грамм'атический] род и числ'о)

  • мужск'ой (м.) - masculine
  • ж'енский (ж.) - feminine
  • ср'едний (с.) - neuter
  • 'общий - general (when a word can be any gender, e.g. молод'ец)
  • ед'инственное (ед.) - singular
  • мн'ожественное (мн.) - plural

Having to do with Verbs

  • прош'едшее вр'емя - past tense
  • насто'ящее вр'емя - present tense
  • б'удущее вр'емя - future tense
  • соверш'енный - perfective
  • несоверш'енный - imperfective
  • перех'одный - transitive
  • неперех'одный - intransitive


  • слов'арь - dictionary
  • л'ексика - vocabulary
  • грамм'атика - grammar
  • лингв'истика - linguistics
  • знач'ение - meaning
  • перев'од - translation
  • син'оним - synonym
  • ант'оним - antonym
  • разгов'орный (разг.) - colloquial; conversational

If you can add on to the list, make corrections, give abbreviations, or share good mono-Russian dictionaries, it would be very helpful to me. Particularly, I've been looking for a Russian dictionary available online or for download targeting Russian children that explains words rather than just listing them or giving a picture.

The dictionary I've tried using is грамота.ру (this website also has other resources aimed at advanced foreign students of Russian)

April 23, 2017


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Thanks for this post. These terms and plenty of others are really worth knowing. If nothing else they help if you're using Russian books to learn Russian or other languages. This quizlet deck may be useful, although the audio is rather odd and there may be some mistakes. (I thought there was one at Memrise but haven't found it.) Also, some of these will be useful, but there are a lot that won't! :). And some of these, too.

April 23, 2017

Thanks for a good and informative post! I think it's tricky to learn the grammatical structure of a language if you don't have the necessary technical vocabulary, and this certainly goes a long way to push you in the right direction.

And I'm not sure if this is just what you're thinking of, but I've always enjoyed using as a dictionary. It does both Russian-English and English-Russian at the same time, and includes conjugations, text examples, examples of usage, and more.

April 25, 2017

I believe is the best source on Russian language for Russians. Not so sure about those who study Russian as foreign language. But if you can make use of it, good for you.

May 5, 2017
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