Copyright (C) 2003 The Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group, Monash University.



The EDICT file results from a long-running project to produce a freely available Japanese/English Dictionary in machine-readable form.

The EDICT file is copyright, and is distributed in accordance with the Licence Statement, which can found at the WWW site of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group who are the owners of the copyright.


The version date and sequence number is included in the dictionary itself under the entry "EDICT". (Actually it is under the JIS-ASCII code "????". This keeps it as the first entry when it is sorted.)

The master copy of EDICT is in the pub/nihongo directory of There are other copies around, but they may not be as up-to-date. The easy way to check if the version you have is the latest is from the size/date.

As of V96-001, the EDICT file no longer contains proper names. These have been moved to a separate file called "ENAMDICT". From V99-002, the EDICT file has been generated from an extended dictionary database which includes additional fields and information. See the later section on the new JMdict project for details of this.


EDICT's format is that of the original "EDICT" format used by the early PC Japanese word-processor MOKE (Mark's Own Kanji Editor). It uses EUC-JP coding for kana and kanji, however this can be converted to JIS (ISO-2022-JP) or Shift-JIS by any of the several conversion programs around. It is a text file with one entry per line. The format of entries is:

KANJI [KANA] /English_1/English_2/.../


KANA /English_1/.../

(NB: Only the KANJI and KANA are in EUC; all the other characters, including spaces, must be ASCII.)

The English translations are deliberately brief, as the application of the dictionary is expected to be primarily on-line look-ups, etc.

The EDICT file is not intended to have its entries in any particular order. In fact it almost always is in order as a by-product of the update method I use, however there is no guarantee of this. (The order is almost always JIS + alphabetical, starting with the head-word.)


EDICT has developed as follows:

  1. it began with the basic EDICT distributed with MOKE 2.0. This was compiled by MOKE's author, Mark Edwards, with assistance from Spencer Green. Mark kindly released this material to the EDICT project. A number of corrections were made to the MOKE original, e.g. spelling mistakes, minor mistranslations, etc. It also had a lot of duplications, which have been removed. It contained about 1900 unique entries. Mark Edwards has also kindly given permission for the vocabulary files developed for KG (Kanji Guess) to be added to EDICT.
  2. additions by Jim Breen. I laboriously keyed in a ~2000 entry dictionary used in my first year nihongo course at Swinburne Institute of Technology years ago (I was given permission by the authors to do this). I then worked through other vocabulary lists trying to make sure major entries were not omitted. The English-to-kana entries in the SKK files were added also. This task is continuing, although it has slowed down, and I suspect I will run out of energy eventually. Apart from that, I have made a large number of additions during normal reading of Japanese text and fj.* news using JREADER and XJDIC. (As of November 2001 I am still adding entries.)

  3. additions by others. Many people have contributed entries and corrections to EDICT. I am forever on the lookout for sources of material, provided it is genuinely available for use in the Project. I am grateful to Theresa Martin who an early supplier a lot of useful material, plus very perceptive corrections. Hidekazu Tozaki has also been a great help with tidying up a lot of awry entries, and helping me identify obscure kanji compounds. Kurt Stueber has been an assiduous keyer of many useful entries. A large group of contributions came from Sony, where Rik Smoody had put together a large online dictionary. Another batch came from the Japanese-German JDDICT file in similar format that Helmut Goldenstein keyed (with permission) from the Langenscheidt edited by Hadamitzky. Harold Rowe was great help with much of the translation. During 1994, Dr Yo Tomita, then at the University of Leeds, conducted a massive proof-reading of the entire file, for which I am most grateful. Jeffrey Friedl at Omron in Kyoto has also been a most helpful contributor and error-detector. During 1995, I have been keeping an eye on the "honyaku" mailing list, wherein Japanese-English translators discuss thorny issues. From this I have derived many new entries, and many updates to existing entries. To the many honyakujin, my thanks.
A reasonably full list of contributors is at the back of this file, although I am sure to have missed a few.

At this stage EDICT has many more entries than many good commercial dictionaries, which typically have 20,000+ non-name entries with examples, etc. It is certainly bigger than some of the smaller printed dictionaries, and when used in conjunction with a search-and-display program like JDIC or XJDIC it provides a highly effective on-line dictionary service.


Dictionary copyright is a difficult point, because clearly the first lexicographer who published "inu means dog" could not claim a copyright violation over all subsequent Japanese dictionaries. While it is usual to consult other dictionaries for "accurate lexicographic information", as Nelson put it, wholesale copying is, of course, not permissible. What makes each dictionary unique (and copyrightable) is the particular selection of words, the phrasing of the meanings, the presentation of the contents (a very important point in the case of EDICT), and the means of publication. Of course, the fact that for the most part the kanji and kana of each entry are coming from public sources, and the structure and layout of the entries themselves are quite unlike those in any published dictionary, adds a degree of protection to EDICT.

The advice I have received from people who know about these things is that EDICT is just as much a new dictionary as any others on the market. Readers may see an entry which looks familiar, and say "Aha! That comes from the XYZ Jiten!". They may be right, and they may be wrong. After all there aren't too many translations of neko. Let me make one thing quite clear, despite considerable temptation (Electronic Books can be easily decoded), NONE of this dictionary came from commercial machine-readable dictionaries. I have a case of RSI in my right elbow to prove it.

Please do not contribute entries to EDICT which have come directly from copyrightable sources. It is hard to check these, and you may be jeopardizing EDICT's status.



EDICT is actually a Japanese->English dictionary, although the words within it can be selected in either language using appropriate software. (JDIC uses it to provide both E->J and J->E functionality.)

The early stages of EDICT had size limitations due to its usage (MOKE scans it sequentially and JDXGEN, which is JDIC's index generator, held it in RAM.) This meant that examples of usage could not be included, and inclusion of phrases was very limited. JDIC/JDXGEN can now handle a much larger dictionary, but the compact format has continued.

No inflections of verbs or adjectives have been included, except in idiomatic expressions. Similarly particles are handled as separate entries. Adverbs formed from adjectives (-ku or ni) are generally not included. Verbs are, of course, in the plain or "dictionary" form.

Priority Entries

Starting with the 2001 editions, approximately 20,000 entries comprising the most commonly-used words in Japanese are marked with a "(P)" at the end of the entry. This list has been identified by examining several small dictionaries, and lists of common gairaigo from Japanese newspapers.

Parts of Speech

In working on EDICT, bearing in mind I want to use it in MOKE and with JDIC, I had to come up with a solution to the problem of adjectival nouns [keiyoudoushi] (e.g. kirei and kantan), nouns which can be used adjectivally with the particle "no" and verbs formed by adding suru (e.g. benkyousuru). If I put entries in EDICT with the "na" and "suru" included, MOKE would not find a match when they are omitted or, the case of suru, inflected. What I decided to do is to put the basic noun into the dictionary and add "(vs)" where it can be used to form a verb with suru, "(a-no)" for common "no" usage, and "(an)" if it is an adjectival noun. Entries appeared as:

KANJI [benkyou] /study (vs)/ 
KANJI [kantan] /simple (an)/ 

In early 2001, as part of the JMdict project (see below), I completely revised this system, instead introducing a comprehensive system of Part of Speech (POS) tags. In the EDICT version of the file these tags usually appear in parentheses at the start of the entry, separated into general tags and POS tags. Where a tag applies to a single gloss or meaning, it will be included there instead.

The (hopefully) full list of such markers is:

abbr 	   abbreviation
adj 	   adjective (keiyoushi)
adv 	   adverb (fukushi)
adj-na    adjectival nouns or quasi-adjectives (keiyodoshi)
adj-no    nouns which may take the genitive case particle "no"
adj-pn	   pre-noun adjectival (rentaishi)
adj-s	   special adjective (e.g. ookii)
adj-t	   "taru" adjective
arch 	   archaism
ateji     ateji reading of the kanji
aux 	   auxiliary word or phrase
aux-v 	   auxiliary verb
conj	   conjunction
col 	   colloquialism 
exp	   Expressions (phrases, clauses, etc.)
ek	   exclusively kanji, rarely just in kana
fam 	   familiar language 
fem 	   female term or language
gikun 	   gikun (meaning) reading
gram 	   grammatical term
hon 	   honorific or respectful (sonkeigo) language 
hum 	   humble (kenjougo) language 
id 	   idiomatic expression 
int	   interjection (kandoushi)
iK 	   word containing irregular kanji usage
ik 	   word containing irregular kana usage
io 	   irregular okurigana usage
MA 	   martial arts term
male 	   male term or language
m-sl 	   manga slang
n	   noun (common) (futsuumeishi)
n-adv	   adverbial noun (fukushitekimeishi)
n-t	   noun (temporal) (jisoumeishi)
n-suf     noun, used as a suffix
neg 	   negative (in a negative sentence, or with negative verb)
neg-v 	   negative verb (when used with)
num       number, numeric
obs 	   obsolete term
obsc 	   obscure term
oK 	   word containing out-dated kanji 
ok 	   out-dated or obsolete kana usage
pol 	   polite (teineigo) language 
pref 	   prefix 
prt       particle
qv 	   quod vide (see another entry)
sl 	   slang
suf 	   suffix 
uK 	   word usually written using kanji alone 
uk 	   word usually written using kana alone 
v1	   Ichidan verb
v5	   Godan verb (not completely classified)
v5u	   Godan verb with `u' ending
v5u-s	   Godan verb with `u' ending - special class
v5k	   Godan verb with `ku' ending
v5g	   Godan verb with `gu' ending
v5s	   Godan verb with `su' ending
v5t	   Godan verb with `tsu' ending
v5n	   Godan verb with `nu' ending
v5b	   Godan verb with `bu' ending
v5m	   Godan verb with `mu' ending
v5r	   Godan verb with `ru' ending
v5k-s	   Godan verb - Iku/Yuku special class
v5z	   Godan verb - -zuru special class (alternative form of -jiru verbs)
v5aru	   Godan verb - -aru special class
v5uru	   Godan verb - Uru old class verb (old form of Eru)
vi 	   intransitive verb 
vs 	   noun or participle which takes the aux. verb suru
vs-s	   suru verb - special class
vk	   Kuru verb - special class
vt 	   transitive verb
vulg 	   vulgar expression or word 
X	   rude or X-rated term (not displayed in educational software)

Multiple Senses

From the 2001 editions of EDICT, the differing senses associated with the Japanese head-words are being progessively marked. The marking takes the form of a "(1)", "(2)", etc. in front of the senses.


I have endeavoured to cater for many possible variants of English translation and spelling. Where appropriate different translations are included for national variants (e.g. autumn/fall). I use Oxford (British) standard spelling (-our, -ize) for the entries I make, but I leave other entries in the national spelling of the submitter.

At some stage in the future I intend to regularize the English spellings in such a way that allows searches on either British or American spellings to be successful.

Gairaigo and Regional Words

For gairaigo which have not been derived from English words, I have attempted to indicate the source language and the word in that language. Languages have been coded in the two-letter codes from the ISO 639:1988 "Code for the representation of names of languages" standard, e.g. "(fr: avec)". See Appendix C for more on this. (Thanks to Holger Gruber for suggesting this language coding.)

In addition to the language codes described in Appendix C, a number of tags are used to indicate that a word or phrase is associated with a particular regional language variant within Japan. The tags are:

kyb	Kyoto-ben
osb	Osaka-ben
ksb	Kansai-ben
ktb	Kantou-ben
tsb	Tosa-ben

In the case of gairaigo which have a meaning which is not apparent from the original (English) words, the literal transcription is included, with the tag (lit).


Early in 1999 work began on the JMdict project, which aims to extend the structure and content of the EDICT file to enable it to contain additional information and provided an improved service to users.

The project has several broad goals:

  1. to convert the EDICT file to a new dictionary structure which overcomes the deficiencies in the current structure. With regard to this goal, the particular structural and content aspects to be addressed include, but are not limited to:
    1. the handling of orthographical variation (e.g. in kanji usage, okurigana usage, readings) within the single entry;
    2. additional and more appropriately associated tagging of grammatical and other information;
    3. provision for separation of different senses (polysemy) in the translations;
    4. provision for the inclusion of translational equivalents from several languages;
    5. provision for inclusion of examples of the usage of words;
    6. provision for cross-references to related entries.
  2. to publish the dictionary in a standard format which is accessible by a wide range of software tools; [It is proposed that this goal be addressed by developing the structure so that it can be released as an XML document, with an associated XML DTD.
  3. to retain backward compatibility with the original EDICT structure in order to enable legacy software systems to use later versions of the EDICT files.
For more information on the JMdict project, please see the documentation files.

By May 1999 the EDICT file had been converted into the new format. A major part of this consisted of identifying and combining entries which were effectively variants of each other.

Since V99-002, the EDICT file has been generated from the new format. This has meant:

  1. a marginal increase in the number of entries, as there is an increased number of variants;
  2. the English fields of the variant entries are now exactly the same, as they have generated from the single expanded entry;
  3. the tags such as (vs), (an), etc. now appear before the first word of the English fields.

EDICT can be freely used provided satisfactory acknowledgement is made, and a number of other conditions are met. Consult the Licence Statement information at Appendix A.

It is, of course, the main dictionary used by PD and GPL Copyright software such as JDIC, JREADER, XJDIC, MacJDic, etc. It can be used as the dictionary within MOKE (it may need to be renamed JTOE.DCT if used with version 2.1 of MOKE), and it is also used by the NJSTAR and JWP Word Processor packages.


I will be delighted if people send me corrections, suggestions, and ESPECIALLY additions. Before ripping in with a lot of suggestions, make sure you have the latest version, as others may have already made the same comments.

The preferred format for submissions is a JIS, EUC or Shift-JIS file (uuencoded for safety) containing replacement/new entries. This can be emailed to me at the address at the end of this file.

Feel free to use the following format:

NEW: KANJI1 [kana1] /new entry #1/

NEW: KANJI2 [kana2] /new entry #2/

old: KANJI3 [kana3] /old entry to be replaced/ new: KANJI3 [kana3] /replacement entry/

DEL: KANJI4 [kana4] /entry to be deleted/

Please provide an annotated reason for any deletions or amendments you send.

I prefer not to get a "diff" or "patch" file as the master EDICT is under continuous revision, and may have had quite a few changes since you got your copy.

Users intending to make submissions to EDICT should follow the following simple rules:

  • all verbs in plain form. The English must begin with "to ....". Add the verb type in some prominent place.

  • add (adj-na) or (adj-no) or (vs) as appropriate to nouns. Do not put the "na" or "no" particles on the Japanese, or the "suru" auxiliary verb. For entries which have (vs), do not enter them as verb infinitives (e.g. "to cook"), instead enter them as gerunds/participles/whatever (e.g. cooking (vs)).

  • indicate prefixes and suffixes by "(pref)" and "(suf)" in the first English entry, not by using "-" in the kanji or kana.

  • do not add definite or indefinite articles (e.g. "a", "an", "the", etc) to English nouns unless they are necessary to distinguish the word from another usage type or homonym.

  • do not guess the kanji or the reading. If you don't know them, don't send it to me. I will check all incoming suggestions, and I get grumpy when I find sloppy errors. One of the most persistent problems in editing EDICT is finding and eliminating incorrect kanji and kana.

  • do not use the "/", "[" or "]" characters except in their separating roles.

  • if you are using a reference in romaji form, make sure you have the correct kana for "too/tou" and "zu", where the Hepburn romaji is often ambiguous.

  • do not use kana or kanji in the "English" fields. Where it is necessary to use a Japanese word, e.g. kanto, use Hepburn romaji.

  • make sure your kana is correct. A persistent problem is the submission of words like "honyaku" as ho+nya+ku instead of the correct ho+n+ya+ku.

  • do not include words formed by common Japanese suffixes, such as "-teki", unless they cannot be deduced from the root.


The following people, in roughly chronological order, have played a part in the development of EDICT. (I stopped adding to this list some years ago, so it is of historical interest now.)

Mark Edwards, Spencer Green, Alina Skoutarides, Takako Machida, Theresa Martin, Satoshi Tadokoro, Stephen Chung, Hidekazu Tozaki, Clifford Olling, David Cooper, Ken Lunde, Joel Schulman, Hiroto Kagotani, Truett Smith, Mike Rosenlof, Harold Rowe, Al Harkom, Per Hammarlund, Atsushi Fukumoto, John Crossley, Bob Kerns, Frank O'Carroll, Rik Smoody, Scott Trent, Curtis Eubanks, Jamie Packer, Hitoshi Doi, Thalawyn Silverwood, Makato Shimojima, Bart Mathias, Koichi Mori, Steven Sprouse, Jeffrey Friedl, Yazuru Hiraga, Kurt Stueber, Rafael Santos, Bruce Casner, Masato Toho, Carolyn Norton, Simon Clippingdale, Shiino Masayoshi, Susumu Miki, Yushi Kaneda, Masahiko Tachibana, Naoki Shibata, Yuzuru Hiraga, Yasuaki Nakano, Atsu Yagasaki, Hitoshi Oi, Chizuko Kanazawa, Lars Huttar, Jonathan Hanna, Yoshimasa Tsuji, Masatsugu Mamimura, Keiichi Nakata, Masako Nomura, Hiroshi Kamabe, Shi-Wen Peng, Norihiro Okada, Jun-ichi Nakamura, Yoshiyuki Mizuno, Minoru Terada, Itaru Ichikawa, Toru Matsuda, Katsumi Inoue, John Finlayson, David Luke, Iain Sinclair, Warwick Hockley, Jamii Corley, Howard Landman, Tom Bryce, Jim Thomas, Paul Burchard, Kenji Saito, Ken Eto, Niibe Yutaka, Hideyuki Ozaki, Kouichi Suzuki, Sakaguchi Takeyuki, Haruo Furuhashi, Takashi Hattori, Yoshiyuki Kondo, Kusakabe Youichi, Nobuo Sakiyama, Kouhei Matsuda, Toru Sato, Takayuki Ito, Masayuki Tokoshima, Kiyo Inaba, Dan Cohn, Yo Tomita, Ed Hall, Takashi Imamura, Bernard Greenberg, Michael Raine, Akiko Nagase, Ben Bullock, Scott Draves, Matthew Haines, Andy Howells, Takayuki Ito, Anders Brabaek, Michael Chachich, Masaki Muranaka, Paul Randolph, Vesa Karhu, Bruce Bailey, Gal Shalif, Riichiro Saito, Keith Rogers, Steve Petersen, Bill Smith, Barry Byrne, Satoshi Kuramoto, Jason Molenda, Travis Stewart, Yuichiro Kushiro Keiko Okushi, Wayne Lammers, Koichi Fujino, Joerg Fischer, Satoru Miyazaki, Gaspard Gendreau, David Olson, Peter Evans, Steven Zaveloff, Larry Tyrrell, Heinz Clemencon, Justin Mayer, David Jones, Holger Gruber, David Wilson, John De Hoog, Stephen Davis, Dan Crevier, Ron Granich, Bruce Raup, Scott Childress, Richard Warmington, Jean-Jacques Labarthe, Matt Bloedel, Szabolcs Varga, Alan Bram, Hidetaka Koie, David Villareale, Hirokazu Ohata, Toshiki Sasabe, William Maton, Tom Salmon, Kian Yap, Paul Denisowski, Glen Pankow, Richard Northcott, Roger Meunier, Petteri Kettunen, Jeff Korpa, Kanji Haitani, Liam O'Brien, Serdar Yegulalp, Jonathan Way, Gururaj Rao, Yoichiro Niitsu, Ralph Seewald, Andreas Jordell, Chua Hian Koon, Hartmut Pilch, Shouichi Takeuchi, Ayumu Yasutomi, Mike Wright, James Rose, Nich Hill.

Jim Breen
School of Computer Science & Software Engineering
Monash University
Clayton 3168


In March 2000, James William Breen assigned ownership of the copyright of the dictionary files assembled, coordinated and edited by him to the The Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group at Monash University.

EDICT can be freely used provided satisfactory acknowledgement is made, and a number of other conditions are met. Information about the licence and copyright for EDICT can be found on the Group's WWW page at:

In summary, EDICT can be freely used with acknowledgement.


The following language codes have been used with non-English derived gairaigo. They have been derived from the ISO 639:1988 "Code for the representation of names of languages" standard.

ar 	Arabic
zh 	Chinese (Zhongwen)
de 	German (Deutsch)
en 	English
fr 	French
el 	Greek (Ellinika)
iw 	Hebrew (Iwrith)
ja 	Japanese
ko 	Korean
nl 	Dutch (Nederlands)
no 	Norwegian
pl 	Polish
ru 	Russian
sv 	Swedish
bo 	Tibetan (Bodskad)
eo 	Esperanto
es 	Spanish
in 	Indonesian
it 	Italian
lt 	Latin
pt 	Portugese
hi 	Hindi
ur 	Urdu
mn 	Mongolian
kl 	Inuit (formerly Eskimo)

And I have added the following, which are not in the Standard:

ai 	Ainu