What is the Best , online Sanskrit-English dictionary. I want to do research on the early root meanings and usage of certain Buddhist words in early India. Say 5,000 years ago, or at least, 3,000 years ago.


2 Answers 2


Personally, the relatively few times I have examined Sanskrit, I have found it more useful than the Pali dictionaries. It is important to be aware Buddhism became totally corrupted in India in its attempt probably under King Ashoka to convert India to Buddhism. Straightforward words such as "jati" ("social identity") were changed by the later Buddhists to mean "physical birth"; which, from a Sanskrit perspective, is ridiculous. This ridiculousness was then exported to non-Indian lands, such as Sri Lanka, Burma & Thailand. The Pali dictionaries were far more superstitious than the Sanskrit I have examined. Fortunately, the Dhamma is preserved due to the excellence of the Buddha's teachings. Words are understood in their contextual use (rather than from the Pali dictionaries).

  • 4
    "...therefore, to make this more of an answer than a rant, here's a link to my favorite online Sanskrit-English dictionary:"
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 3:38
  • The "jati" link in the answer is a reference to spokensanskrit.org
    – ChrisW
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 15:39

Although this is not a Sanskrit or Pali dictionary per se, wisdomlib.org is pretty useful.

For e.g. from the wisdomlib.org pages on jati, karma and dharma, you can find details on those terms, as related to Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and in other contexts.

It also quotes from multiple sources, including Sanskrit and Pali dictionaries.

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