Van Dale

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Van Dale's Great Dictionary of the Dutch Language
(14th edition)
Dikke van Dale.jpg
Dikke Van Dale
Authordrs. C. A. den Boon, prof. dr. D. Geeraerts (editors)
Original titleVan Dale's Groot woordenboek der Nederlandsche taal
Language Dutch
Subject Dictionary
Publisher Van Dale Lexicografie
Publication date
Pages4464 [1]
ISBN 90-6648-427-6
OCLC 697452253
LC Class PF625 .G44 2005
Preceded by13th edition 

Van Dale's Great Dictionary of the Dutch Language (Dutch : Van Dale Groot woordenboek van de Nederlandse taal [vɑn ˈdaːlə ˌɣroːt ˈʋoːrdə(m)ˌbuk fɑn də ˈneːdərlɑntsə ˈtaːl] ), called Dikke Van Dale [ˈdɪkə vɑn ˈdaːlə] for short, [2] is the leading dictionary of the Dutch language. The latest edition was published in 2015.



J.H. van Dale (1828-1872) J.H. van Dale.jpg
J.H. van Dale (1828–1872)

Van Dale's dictionary was first published after the death of Johan Hendrik van Dale, [3] who had started work on his New Dictionary of the Dutch Language (Nieuw woordenboek der Nederlandsche taal [ˌniu ˈʋoːrdə(n)ˌbuk dɛr ˈneːdərlɑntsə ˈtaːl] ) in 1867. [4] This was built upon the original same-named 1864 dictionary of I.M. Calisch and N.S. Calisch. Van Dale did not see the new work published in his lifetime, as he died in 1872. It was finished by his student Jan Manhave. Today it is published by the private company Van Dale Lexicografie. [3] [5]

Commonly nicknamed Dikke Van Dale ("thick Van Dale") and Grote Van Dale ("big Van Dale") due to its size, the dictionary is published in three volumes (A-I, J-R, S-Z). It is usually updated every 7–8 years, and the 15th edition was published in 2015. [6] Today there are compilations, pocket editions, electronic editions on CD-ROM and an online edition on the Van Dale website. The online edition includes a free version for the more common words, and a subscription-based professional version with access to the full 90,000-word dictionary. [7]


The Van Dale Dictionary is a private endeavor, to be distinguished from the government-published "Green Booklet" that lists the official spelling mandated for schools and government employees. Van Dale includes the official spelling of the words as well, but it further provides their definitions.

There have been arguments whether inclusion in Van Dale should be understood as an approval, in particular for words considered discriminatory like neger ("negro", but traditionally not used in a derogatory sense in Dutch). The position of the editors is clear: the actual use is decisive. Disapproved words are marked as such, but not omitted. The purpose is to inform the reader, therefore the responsibility of using certain words lies solely on them.


1st edition1864I. M. Calisch en N. S. CalischNieuw woordenboek der Nederlandsche taal; in one volume.
1872J. H. van Dale Facsimile-reprint 1992
1874J. H. van Dale
3rd edition1884J. Manhave
4th edition1898H. Kuiper jr., dr. A. Opprel en P. J. van Malssen jr.New title: Van Dale's Groot woordenboek der Nederlandsche taal.
5th edition1914P. J. van Malssen jr.
6th edition1924P. J. van Malssen jr.
7th edition1950dr. C. Kruyskamp, dr. F. de Tollenaere
8th edition1961dr. C. Kruyskamp
9th edition1970dr. C. KruyskampFor the first time in two volumes (A-N, O-Z).
10th edition1976dr. C. Kruyskamp
11th edition1984prof. dr. G. Geerts en dr. H. Heestermans, with collaboration of dr. C. KruyskampFor the first time in three volumes (A-I, J-R, S-Z).
12th edition1992prof. dr. G. Geerts en dr. H. HeestermansRepublished in 1995 with the new official spelling.
13th edition1999prof. dr. G. Geerts, drs. C. A. den BoonAlso appeared on CD-ROM, edited by prof. dr. D. Geeraerts.
14th edition2005drs. C. A. den Boon, prof. dr. D. GeeraertsUsed the new official spelling of 2005.

New title: Van Dale Groot woordenboek van de Nederlandse taal.

15th edition2015Published on 23 September 2015.

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  1. (in Dutch) Van Dale Groot woordenboek van de Nederlandse taal, product description from
  2. De Telegraaf (August 17, 2014). "Nieuwe papieren editie Dikke Van Dale" . Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Structure and history of the Dutch language". Free University of Berlin, Department for Dutch Linguistics. September 14, 2009. Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  4. (in Dutch) About Van Dale on the official website
  5. Sanders, Ewoud. "Johan Hendrik Van Dale (1828–1872): Maker van een half woordenboek". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved June 26, 2011.
  6. "Van Dale Groot woordenboek van de Nederlandse taal" (in Dutch). Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  7. Sanders, Ewoud (October 17, 2005). "Nieuwe Van Dale". NRC Handelsblad (in Dutch). Retrieved June 26, 2011.