Online encyclopedias, dictionaries and glossaries of economics and related subjects — English

(This list is under construction and probably still incomplete. Please let me know any noteworthy missing dictionaries)

For non-English dictionaries go here

For a survey of dictionaries of economic terms on the web, focusing on on whether and how the possibilities opened by electronic editing and by the modes of distribution and interaction opened by the internet are exploited in the organization and presentation of the materials, see my piece on “Economic Dictionaries on the Web”, Hermes – Journal of Language and Communication in Business, 50, pp. 1-20.

Economics and political economy

Major dictionaries and encyclopedic dictionaries, and dictionaries aimed at researchers in economics and related subjects,

New Palgrave dictionary of economics (subscribers only; 2008-2012)

The concise encyclopedia of economics, ed. by D. R. Henderson. First published in 1993 under the title The Fortune Encyclopedia of Economics, it features easy-to-read articles by over 150 top economists, including Nobel Prize winners, over 80 biographies of famous economists, and many tables and charts illustrating economics in action. The second edition of this book came out in December, 2007

Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States, by the best American and European writers, ed. by John Lalor (1888-90). This is a mere transcription of Lalor’s Cyclopædia, no editorial apparatus is added except for a search engine and a navigable table of contents.

Glossary of research economics (ed. by P. B. Meyers, 2001). Over 1200 entries, aiming at defining terms often used in economic writings (formal text, of research or teaching) rarely fully or unambiguously defined. Refers to the source of the definitions cited. There is no table of contents: entries can only be accessed via the search engine or via a number of categories under which they are classified.

Various sectorial economics dictionaries

Hypertext Glossary of Business Cycle Indicators, @ Nouriel Roubini's Macro Page . Lists (not alphabetically) about 40 business cycle indicators. For each of them, it presents a measure of importance, definition, related indicators, source, frequency, availability, direction relative to the business cycle (procyclical, counter-cyclical, acyclical), timing (coincident, lagging or leading indicator), volatility, likely impact on financial markets (bond prices, stock prices and the exchange rate), ability to affect markets, analysis of the indicator and links to WEB sources (data, charts, graphs and analysis of the indicator).

The Terms of Trade and Other Wonders. Deardorffs’ Glossary of International Economics (short definitions of 3765 terms, and more detailed explanations of some figures in international economics).

Environmental economics glossary @ Short definitions of about 250 terms, suitable for a general public.

Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, General editors Boudewijn Bouckaert (Univ. Ghent) and Gerrit De Geest (Univ. Ghent and Univ. Utrecht) (Edward Elgar). This is a pdf version of the printed encyclopedia, with a navigable index, and referring to external resources provided by FindLaw, a business provider of online legal information and Internet marketing solutions for law firms. The link to a searcheable bibliography is dead.

Glossary of Input-Output terms, @ Bureau of Economic Analysis. About 20 terms, very briefly defined.

An "A to Z" of the Swiss National Bank: glossary of about 100 terms concerning central banking, money and monetary policy, produced by the Swiss National Bank. Also in German, French and Italian

Glossaries and dictionaries aimed at undergraduates

AmosWEB GLOSSarama is a searchable database of 2000 economic terms and concepts.

AmosWEB Encyclonomic web-pedia: deeper treatment of a about 1000 entries of the Glossarama (from which there is a link). Each entry cross-refers to related entries, to entries giving some background to the entry visited, and provides internal references for further study. In its simplicity, it is a thoughtful editorial apparatus.

A dictionary of economics, @ Oxford reference online (subscribers only): Advertised as “An authoritative and comprehensive dictionary containing 2,500 key economic terms with clear, concise definitions. It covers all aspects of economics including economic theory, applied microeconomics and macroeconomics, labour economics, public economics and public finance, monetary economics, environmental economics, and many others”, is the online version of the 3rd printed edition (2009). Brief definitions, cross-referencing, simple text search that can be extended to the other dictionaries in this collection.

J. Stiglitz and C. E. Walsh, Glossary associated to the 4th ed. of Principles of Macroeconomics, students website. very brief definitions of about 450 terms, on one long page. No cross-references.

Glossary for a course in basic economics, by Ken Rea. Brief definitions of 228 terms, given as a simple list (with navigable index).

John B. Taylor's Macroeconomics Glossary (in support of Taylor’s Principles of macroeconomics, Houghton Mifflin). Very brief definitions of about 600 terms.

A Glossary of Political Economy Terms by Dr. Paul M. Johnson of Auburn University. About 200 terms, discussed in some depth (a few paragraphs per entry), cross-references and linking to related entries.

Rethinking Economics: 39 Key Concepts @ Economics web institute. 0nly 39 concepts, but discussed in relative depth, offering cross-references to other entries and links to essays on the topic on the same web site. Most entries are organized via a flux diagram of the IS-LM model

Dr. T's Economics News, Data, Analysis and Links. Glossary of economic terms (mostly microeconomics): very brief definitions of about 200 terms, with cross-references of words used in definitions.

Economicae: an illustrated encyclopedia of economics, by Ralph Byrne, University of North Carolina. About one thousand terms, most of which are defined in one paragraph; some, however, are discussed more in depth in separate pages, included about 50 biographies of economists.

Glossary of economics @ 190 brief definitions, linked, however, to explanatory flash videos, diagrams or articles on the subject.

Lexica prepared by newspapers and specialized periodicals

Economics A-Z terms by The Economist (about 600 entries, adapted from Essential Economics, by Matthew Bishop - Bloomberg Press, 2009. Addressed to the general public, it gives a brief outline of each topic, cross-referencing where necessary to other entries. It does not claim to be a dictionary or a glossary, and tacitly expounds an Economist point of view.

Financial Times Lexicon: thousands of words and phrases selected by Financial Times editors. Short definitions, not always rigorous and accurate, but cross-refers to other entries and usefully links to FT articles related to the subject.

Glossary of financial and economic Jargon, @ The Guardian, including a credit crunch glossary. Brief definitions of about 500 words (those concerning the credit crunch also being grouped outside the alphabetical order into a credit crunch glossary), with cross references to other terms used in the entry and to related entries, and with occasional references to Guardian articles on the subject.

The New York Times Glossary of Financial and Business Terms. Over 2,500 entries, compiled by Campbell R. Harvey. Very brief definitions, cross-referring to other entries in the glossary when the corresponding term is used in the definition.

The Washington Post: Business A to Z, a glossary of business terms. More than 1250 business and financial terms. Very brief definitions, cross-referenced. The site claims that terms are organized, but no criterion is visible besides the alphabetical one.

BBC Business News Financial glossary: about 150 brief entries, given as an alphabetical list. Not searcheable, no cross-references

Other dictionaries for the general public

Glossary of Economics Terms (also as Dictionary of economic terms) @, by Mike Moffat, incorporating Meyer’s Glossary of research economics. About 1,000 short definitions, cross-refers to related entries in the glossary, but also to other resources on the topic in (very essential)

Babylon economics dictionary (takes up Webster’s Revised unabridged 1913 edition, BAE Economic Analysis Glossary by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Environmental Economics Glossary created by Kenneth Acks, A Glossary of Political Economy Terms by P. M. Johnson, Campbell R. Harvey's Hypertextual Finance Glossary, and others).

The new economic reality dictionary @ Urban Survival. 36 entries, briefly defined. Unorthodox, in stile and approach.

Glossary by The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. About 300 terms related to the Federal Reserve, banking and economics, briefly defined

Glossary of economic terms, by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. About 400 terms, focusing on banking, credit, monetary policy etc., very briefly defined.

Glossary of terms @ People For Mathematically Perfected Economy. About 50 terms concerned with money and credit, discussed in the perspective of a’mathematically perfected economy’ based on the issue of interest-free notes.

Glossary defining various economic and budgetary terms as they are commonly used in reports by the Congressional Budget Office. Over 200 terms, briefly defined, presented by means of a regularly updated pdf document.

On-line glossary giving brief non-technical definitions about 200 terms and concepts used in J. Stanford’s Economics for everyone, in the form of a pdf document.

Economics glossary @ 39 terms, very briefly defined.

Economics Help Online Dictionary. Over 400 entries, aimed at A-level and college students but also suitable for the general public, discussed in fair detail, linking to essays and related entries.

Economics glossary @ OECD Economics Department. About 200 terms, briefly defined

Economic glossary @ Brief definitions of about 2000 terms.

Economic Glossary @ about 100 terms (several of which not strictly economic), very briefly defined.

A Basic Economics Glossary @ Women and the economy, a UNPAC project. About 60 entries, with brief definitions, cross-referring.

Glossary of economic terms @ United for a fair economy. 44 terms very briefly defined.

Economics glossary, @ The New Enlightenment. Political, economic and social essays. Over 100 terms, briefly or very briefly defined.

Economy and finance glossary by Eurostat, @ European Union website, contains all glossary items concerning the statistical theme 'Economy and finance'. About 280 terms, defined as they are used in the Eurostat statistics. Cross-referring to each other and linking to other materials in the Eurostat website.

Glossary @ US Bureau of Economic Analysis. Brief description of about 300 terms and acronyms, cross-referring to each other and linking to related entries.

Glossaries for schools

Accounting, Business Studies and Economics Dictionary @ ITS tutorial school, dictionary aimed at colleges and high schools, and introductory levels of BAs.

Economics Help Online Dictionary. Over 400 entries, aimed at A-level and college students but also suitable for the general public, discussed in fair detail, linking to essays and related entries.

Economics and business glossary, @ just business,, a site dedicated to providing information and activities about global and ethical issues to students and teachers in business and economics. Briefly defines about 250 terms.

Virtual Economy Glossary maintained by Biz/ed. About 150 entries, briefly defined.

Euro Economics Glossary, An introduction to the economics of the European Monetary Union for teachers and students in high grades and up competing in the Euro Challenge Competition, developed by UNC’s European Union Center of Excellence. Very briefly defines 35 terms.

Glossary of Economic Terms and Concepts @ (for students grade 12)

EconEdLink Economic Glossary. By the Council of Economic Education, resource aimed at students up to grade 12 (here a reduced version, @ capstone)

Kid's Economic Glossary. A glossary of economic terms to help kids (grades 3-8) better understand the economic and the current economic crisis. @

PBS, resources for economics teachers: Glossary of economics: Access, Analyze, Act: From Economic Theory to Financial Reality (with some definitions presented by means of videos).

Flashcards: Expanded Glossary - Economics - CCSD (Economics for high schools, @ 545 terms, presented by means of flashcards (alphabetically or randomly ordered), also in audio version.

Economic Glossary, by E. T. Davis @ South Lyon High School, South Lyon, Michigan.

Economic history, economic geography

The EH.Net Encyclopedia of Economic and Business History. Designed to provide students and laymen with high quality reference articles in the field. Articles for the Online Encyclopedia are written by experts, screened by a group of authorities, and carefully edited. A distinguished Advisory Board recommends entry topics, assists in the selection of authors, and defines the project's scope.

Monetary History Glossary, @ François Micheloud's Homepage

Online Dictionary & Glossary in Economic Geography by Gunter Krumme (not updated since 2003).

Social sciences

Wisdom supreme — a dictionary of social sciences: 1832 entries in economics, law, philosophy, political science, sociology, and other disciplines

Glossary of the Social Sciences, by Frank W. Elwell, Rogers State University: brief definitions of almost 800 terms.


Campbell R. Harvey's Hypertextual Finance Glossary. Self- described as “Over 8,000 Entries and 18,000 Hyperlinks, The largest financial glossary on the Internet”.

A dictionary of finance and banking, @ Oxford reference online (subscribers only). Over 5100 entries, covering “the vocabulary used in banking, money markets, foreign exchanges, public and government finance, and private investment and borrowing, and much more. The coverage in all areas is wide and international”- brief definitions, cross-referred. Can be searched, separately or jointly with the other dictionaries in the same collection.

Financial Dictionary with definitions of over 300 financial terms. The dictionary was created to serve as financial education tool, helping anybody interested in learning about finance, money, and investing. Besides being organized alphabetically, entries are grouped into several financial categories: General Finance, Loans, Mortgages, Banking, Debt..

Financial dictionary @ About 200 terms, shortly defined.

Financial dictionary, @ Farlex’s (a meta-dictionary, taking up and referring to Farlex’s own Financial dictionary; Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott, Houghton Mifflin 2003; Dictionary of Financial Terms, Lightbulb Press, 2008)

Finance and Business Dictionary @ QFinance, the ultimate financial resource, including over 3,000 terms, organized in 32 categories, and linking to other articles on the topic in the same site, from the Chartered Management Institute.

Banking, insurance, investment, etc. dictionary, @

Financial Terms Dictionary @ Focuses on composite terms, briefly defined but accompanied by additional information.

Babylon finance dictionary (Takes up Debt Busters Dictionary, Campbell R. Harvey's Hypertextual Finance Glossary, BASSAM Finance Dictionary, Leasing Dictionary)

Financial dictionary @ Investopedia. Gives definitions accompanied by explanations, sometimes links to explanatory videos.

Glossary of Financial Terms @ infoplease

Finance and Investment Dictionary: Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms, 8th edition, by John Downes and Jordan Elliot Goodman, published by Barron's Educational Series

Glossary of financial and economic Jargon, @ Guardian, including a credit crunch glossary.

Barkley's Comprehensive Financial Glossary (1998-2000)

Glossary @ TIAA Financial Services

Risk glossary & resource locator @ Contingency Analysis Financial Risk Management (fairly detailed entries).

Financial glossary @

Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott @

Yahoo financial glossary.

The New York Times Glossary of Financial and Business Terms. Over 2,500 entries, compiled by Campbell R. Harvey

Financial Terms Dictionary - Personal Finance Glossary @


Cambridge business-English dictionary (by Cambridge University Press; monolingual dictionary of 35,000 business-related words, phrases and meanings). (20’000 terms, x-referring to related entries)

Finance and Business Dictionary @ QFinance, the ultimate financial resource, including over 3,000 terms from the Chartered Management Institute.

Business glossary from (browses Allbusiness’s Dictionary of Accounting Terms, Dictionary of Banking Terms, Dictionary of Business Terms, Dictionary of Computer and Internet Terms, Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms, Dictionary of Insurance Terms, Dictionary of Marketing Terms, and Dictionary of Real Estate Terms)

The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin, Harcourt Publishing Company, @

Small-Business Encyclopedia, @ Alphabetical listing, also categorized under about 30 headings.

Glossary of Terms @ business help site, US Census Bureau

Babylon business and finance dictionary (takes up their Marketing Dictionaries, Trade & Transportation Dictionaries, Banking Dictionaries, Industry Dictionaries, Investment Dictionaries, Management Dictionaries, Real Estate Dictionaries)

Dictionary of Bankruptcy Terminology @ Bernstein Law Firm.

The New York Times Glossary of Financial and Business Terms. Over 2,500 entries, compiled by Campbell R. Harvey.

The Washington Post: Business A to Z, a glossary of business terms.


International Labor Organization: Gender, Employment and the Informal Economy: Glossary of Terms, Glossary of Industrial Relations and related terms (This glossary defines a range of common industrial relations terms. Its objective is to provide a basic introduction to such terms for persons who are relatively unfamiliar with industrial relations, particularly as it operates in a market-oriented economy; Glossary of labour law and industrial relations (with special reference to the European Union).

A glossary of technical terms on the economics and finance of health services, by J. L. Roberts Consultant for Health Economics WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen 1998.

Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Glossary of social psychology, economics, and business administration, aiming at establishing a common core of scientific concepts that are used in SFB 504 research. @ University of Mannheim.

Glossary of game theory terms, @ About 200 terms (some of which biographical) briefly defined, cross-referencing to each other.

Economics network maintains a list of economic dictionaries and glossaries.