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American Sign Language: Dictionaries

For the Department of Languages [Note: This guide does link to some video portions with no audio]

Tip #1 - ASL Video Dictionary

Four Ways to Find a Sign

  1. Scroll down the list of words on the left and click on your choice.
  2. Type an English word in the box. The scroll bar will follow your typing and take you to that word in the list. When you get to the right word, press Return or click on it in the list
  3. Click on a letter to the left of the main list. All the words beginning with that letter will appear in the list.
  4. Click on the Category button, select the appropriate Category, and look through the words.

To See a Sign in a Sentence

After you have seen a sign, click on the Sentences button. You will then see one or more options for seeing that sign with different meanings in different sentences. (A few signs, such as proper nouns, synonyms or uninflected signs, do not appear in sentences.)

Tip #2 - ASL Video Dictionary

Control Settings

  1. The Sentence Defaults drop-down button allows you to choose to see the ASL sentence first, the English sentence first, or both at the same time.
  2. If you see the ASL sentences first, you can then see the English translation by pressing the English button; if you see the English sentence first, you can then see the ASL translation by pressing the ASL button.
  3. The Video Speed Defaults button allows you to set the default speed of all video clips (Normal or Slow). You can change the replay speed of a particular clip with the drop-down Normal and Slow buttons. This will not change the default setting.

Featured Online Resource - ASL Video Dictionary & Inflection Guide

Screen shot of ASL Video Dictionary

Note: Clemson username and password required. Access is limited to current students, faculty and staff. Requires QuickTime 3.0 or later. If you have trouble using Firefox, try accessing in Chrome, Safari or Opera instead.

How to Use the ASL Video Dictionary and Inflection Guide
This Dictionary and Inflection Guide provides quick and easy access to:

  • Isolated, uninflected sign
  • Sentences that show those signs with many of their natural inflections
  • English translations of the sentences
  • Groups of signs that look similar, but may or may not have any connection
  • Categories of related signs (money, countries, careers, furniture, etc.)

Apps: iPhone app currently available in iTunes, search for: "ASL Dictionary from NTID". There is a charge; Android app should also be available.

Other ASL Dictionaries

Some other ASL dictionaries are available for use or check-out at Cooper.

          ASL Computer Dictionary        ASL Medical Dictionary        ASL Legal Dictionary

Tip #3 - ASL Video Dictionary

Similar Signs
If the sign you have selected is in one of the Similar Signs groups, the "Similar Signs" button will become active. Click on it to see an index of signs that look similar to the one you've selected. You can then also see the similar signs in sentences.

This drop-down menu give you access to signs grouped by meaning (money, countries, careers, furniture, etc.)

Grammar Information
This contains descriptions of ASL inflectional systems and ASL sentences structures, both with a number of video examples.

Having Trouble?

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Contact: Maggie Mason Smith, Library Technical Assistant


Telephone: 864-656-5180


Contact: Ed Rock, Librarian


Telephone: 864-656-1879