Dictionnaire de Trévoux

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Title page of the Supplément au dictionnaire universel françois et latin (Paris, 1752)

The Dictionnaire de Trévoux, as the Dictionnaire universel françois et latin was unofficially and then officially nicknamed because of its original publication in the town of Trévoux (near Lyon, France), appeared in several editions from 1704 to 1771.[1] Throughout the 18th century, it was widely assumed to be the directed by Jesuits, a supposition supported by at least some modern scholars.[2]

The first edition (1704) of the Dictionnaire de Trévoux was close to being a reprint of the 1701 edition of Antoine Furetière´s Dictionnaire universel (1690), with a small number of revisions and added articles as well as a Latin-French dictionary in the last volume.[3]

A few decades later, the Dictionnaire de Trévous was pirated in its own turn: The publisher Pierre Antoine, from Nancy, brought out two editions in competition with the original series before agreeing to cooperate on the 1752 edition.[4] From its much expanded second edition (1721) onward, the Dictionnaire de Trévoux came to be respected and widely used, becoming an important source for Ephraim Chambers´ Cyclopaedia (1728) and the Encyclopédie (1751–72).[5]

Following is a list of editions of the Dictionnaire de Trévoux with their dates, place of publication, size, and format:[6]

  • 1704, Trévoux, 2-3 volumes in folio, variations by printing and binding are not distinguished on title pages;
    • One version printed and bound in three volumes as: A-D, E-N, and M-Z.
    • Another version printed and bound in three volumes as: A-F, G-R, and S-Z.
  • 1721, Trévoux, 5 volumes in folio;
  • 1732, Paris, 5 volumes in folio;
  • 1734, Nancy, 5 volumes in folio;
  • 1738-42, Nancy, 6 volumes in folio;
  • 1743, Paris, 6 volumes in folio;
  • 1752, Paris or Nancy, 8-9 volumes in folio, including a one-or-two-volume supplement;
  • 1762, Paris, 2-3 volumes in quarto (an abridged edition); and
  • 1771, Paris, 8 volumes in folio.


  1. ^ On the final edition see Arnold Miller, "The Last Edition of the Dictionnaire de Trévoux," in Notable Encyclopedias of the Late Eighteenth Century, ed. Frank A. Kafker (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 1994), 5-50.
  2. ^ See especially Marie Leca-Tsiomis, Ecrire l`Encyclopédie: Diderot: de l`usage des dictionnaires à la grammaire philosophique (Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2001).
  3. ^ Dorotea Behnke, Furetière und Trévoux: Eine Untersuchung zum Verhältnis der beiden Wörterbuchserien (Tubingen: Max Niemeyer, 1996).
  4. ^ Albert Ronsin, "Les Editions nancéiennes du Dictionnaire de Trévoux au XVIIIe siècle," Le Pays lorrain 41 (1960): 151-64.
  5. ^ On the use of the Trévoux by the Cyclopaedia and the Encyclopédie see Leca-Tsiomis, Ecrire l'Encyclopédie.
  6. ^ Isabelle Turcan, "La Série des éditions du Dictionnaire de Trévoux," in Quand le Dictionnaire de Trévoux rayonne sur l'Europe des Lumières, ed. Turcan and Louis André (Paris: Harmattan, 2009), 139.