The Diccionario de la lengua española (DLE; Spanish pronunciation: [diɣθjoˈnaɾjo ðe la ˈlẽŋɡwa espaˈɲola]; English: Dictionary of the Spanish language) is a dictionary of the Spanish language. Previously known as Diccionario de la Real Academia Española (English: Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy),[1] it is produced, edited, and published by the Real Academia Española (RAE; English: Royal Spanish Academy) with participation of the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española (ASALE; English: Association of Academies of the Spanish Language). It was first published in 1780, and subsequent editions have been published about once a decade. The twenty-third edition was published in 2014.

Origin and development

When the RAE was founded in 1713, one of its primary objectives was compiling a Castilian Spanish dictionary. Its first endeavor was the six-volume Diccionario de Autoridades (Dictionary of Authorities) from 1726 to 1739. Based on that work, an abridged version was published in 1780, the full title of which was Diccionario de la lengua castellana compuesto por la Real Academia Española, reducido á un tomo para su más fácil uso (Dictionary of the Castilian tongue composed by the Royal Spanish Academy, reduced to one volume for its easier use). According to its prologue, the dictionary was published for general public access during the long time between the publishing of the first and second editions of the exhaustive Diccionario de Autoridades, thus offering a cheaper reference book. By the time the second edition was published, it had become the principal dictionary, superseding its ancestor. The last edition of the Diccionario de Autoridades was published in 1793.[citation needed]

The fourth edition of the dictionary (1803) introduced the digraphs "ch" (che) and "ll" (elle) to the Spanish alphabet as separate, discrete letters. "Ch" was alphabetized between "c" and "d", while "ll" was alphabetized between "l" and "m". Also in 1803, the letter "x" was replaced with "j" when it had the same pronunciation as "j", and the circumflex accent (^) was eliminated.[citation needed] In 1994, it was decided at the 10th Congress of the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language to use the universal Latin alphabet, which does not include "ch" and "ll" as letters.[2]

The earliest editions were more extensive: they included Latin translations of the entry, in some cases gave usage examples (especially in popular phrases), and summarized the word's etymology; contemporary editions do so concisely. The earliest editions had "x" entries that no longer appear individually.[citation needed]

Historically, the decision to add, modify, or delete words from the dictionary has been made by the RAE, in consultation with other language authorities (especially in Latin America) when there was an uncertainty. This process continued between 1780 and 1992, but, since the 1992 edition, the RAE and the other discrete language academies forming the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language collaborate in producing the Dictionary of the Spanish Language.[citation needed]

Editions of the DLE