I believe that there many words translate from Buddha Sutra and I want to ask is there any website can translate the words meaning in English? Example Samman Samadhi

  • 1
    I think this is more of a list type question so I'm converting to a wiki. Can always be reverted if people desperately disagree. Commented Oct 3, 2015 at 17:16
  • Answers to this topic also contain answers to this question.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 15:09

7 Answers 7


I recommend the Digital Pali Reader (a browser extension for Firefox and Pale Moon).


Wisdom Library is one of the most reliable. E.g. Samma Samadhi.

Also Access To Insight has a glossary.

  • Other than this, is that have some official website like that?
    – Le Parkour
    Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 9:25
  • 1
    There cannot be any "Official" as there is no authority to decide which is official. Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 9:26

I've tried the PTS Pali-English dictionary (for Pali).

There's a trick to using it though.

  • Enable Search entry words only (not definitions)
  • Type in the word you're looking for e.g. Samadhi

When you search it may not find the result. So:

  • Also select Words starting with (Example: bud)
  • Type in fewer (just the first few) letters of the word you're looking for e.g. Sama

This may display several results -- hopefully you can find the word you're looking for on this list (maybe Samatha in this case).

This searching for a prefix (instead of for the full word) if often necessary, because Pali words have declensions and conjugations when they're used in sentences, which alters their suffixes.

I think that samadhi versus samatha (used in the example above) is a difference between Sanskrit and Pali.

The fact remains, however, that when looking for Pali words in the PTS dictionary it's often necessary to search for the prefix.

Another reason why that's so is, I think, that Pali words are joined together (like in German). Look at this answer for example (which uses the Critical Pali Dictionary instead of the PTS dictionary), which shows for example various words created from ārāma.

I note that ārāma isn't in the PTS dictionary however arañña is — which is another reason why you may need to look for prefixes (I found it by searching the PTS dictionary for ara after a search for aram found no results), i.e. that the Latinesque alphabet spelling might not be standardized.

Beware that the PTS dictionary requires of you a semi-exact spelling when you do a lookup, for example to find Kālika you must search for Kālika (and searching for Kalika won't find it).

There's also this Glossology.

It only lists dhamma-related words (so it's not a full dictionary), but its entries are a bit fuller than the dictionaries'.


Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism is another source. http://www.international.ucla.edu/institute/article/149341


I found this one, which seems to aggregate answers from several different dictionaries. Still a LOT of words missing from the Dhammapada (which I'm working on adapting) but a very useful resource for trying to pick apart Pali texts:



For Pali, I use The Pali Text Society's Pali-English dictionary.

Here are the options I choose for best results (in general) i.e. Search entry words only and Words starting with (as mentioned by ChrisW in his answer)

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For Sanskrit, I use Sanskrit Dictionary and Spoken Sanskrit.

I will even use Wiktionary e.g. for etymological information. In fact, I tend to look up a Pali word, explore its Sanskrit ancestor/relative in the Sanskrit Dictionary and then check etymology in Wiktionary.

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