Recommended Online Dictionaries
General Language Dictionaries
Reed provides access to the Oxford Dictionaries in Spanish, French, German, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic. They have numerous example sentences that show, for instance, various verb forms in context. These dictionaries also include information about and translations of idiomatic phrases as well as audio of native-speaker pronunciation.
WordReference supports all the languages offered at Reed as well as a few more. The discussion forums are a popular feature of WordReference: they include discussions about usage, idiomatic expressions, etc. with many native-speaker participants. WordReference is also available as a free iOS or Android app.
Lexilogos is essentially a collection of various dictionaries and other similar resources. It includes dictionaries from and into English as well as target-language only dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other useful vocabulary and word-focused resources. Particularly useful for writing assignments, it’s a good place to visit if you are looking for something very specific not found in other dictionaries. It’s also a good place to start for basic research.
This is the online version of the authoritative French dictionary. It gives comprehensive definitions in French, including the different ways a word could be used and literary examples for each. This is a good choice for students whose professors have asked them to use only fully French dictionaries for their readings. Access Le Grand Robert through the library at the link above; select the "view it" tab.
BeoLingus is a very thorough dictionary: when you look up a word, it gives not only the German translation, but also an extensive list of words and phrases either containing the original word or somehow related to it. This might be overwhelming when you're looking for a simple translation, but it could be very useful for finding topical words for German composition, for example.
This is one of a few Spanish dictionaries offered by the Real Academia Española. Users can search for exact words or for dictionary headwords with specific beginnings or endings. This makes it an easy online dictionary to browse and can help with understanding related words.