Score: 9/10

pros: massive coverage of every word found in the most read Classical Greek authors; thorough definitions indicate when, how & by whom words are used; entries contain information on related roots & sometimes Latin translations (great for classicists); indicates grammatical information such as principal parts of verbs, & when meaning changes for different grammatical forms of the same word; gives vowel length, accents, & dialect differences; the English translations are clear & explore the various meanings of each Greek word

cons: no English-Ancient Greek section; examples are more useful for knowing how certain Greek writers used a word/phrase than how you might “use it in a sentence”; missing certain vocabulary from later classical Greek works (but plenty sufficient for Homeric, Doric, Attic Greek and the Greek New Testament); older text & formatting makes some definitions slightly cumbersome or dated for modern readers

Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon has long stood as the definitive dictionary for English speakers looking up Ancient Greek words. For most students, this is the recommended go-to reference you’ll save your dollars to buy. For the most part, that’s because the lexicon is thorough, clear and extremely useful, despite its age – the first edition dates to 1889. Sometimes, though, you’ll realize that this tome owes its longtime position as the best available dictionary to the outmoded nature of Ancient Greek dictionaries in general.

The formatting of entries is readable – pages are laid out in two columns, with the first and last term on each page given at the top of the page for quick reference. Ancient Greek entries are given in bold text, and their definitions are slightly indented.

Each entry includes grammatical information followed by English translations of the term. Often, extra information clarifies the translation or use of the term. The first portion of the definition for the entry ???? (“dĂȘta”), for instance, reads: “Adv., more emphatic form of ??, certainly, to be sure, of course“.

The dictionary takes time to explore the various ways each word is used, referring to quotations from individual works that range from Homer to Plato to the New Testament. The fact that nearly every entry lists who used the word or in which dialect of Greek it was found, coupled with the wide coverage of its word lists, adds a layer of depth absent from smaller, cheaper dictionaries.

This lexicon has no supplemental material like verb tables or a pronunciation guide. It supplies grammatical material for specific entries as needed, and focuses all its pages on its robust word list.

Comparing it to modern dictionaries, especially the best dictionaries for modern languages, students will rightfully complain that it lacks extra learner-friendly reference materials (grammar, pronunciation & “language in action” sections). Also worth noting is that the entries are geared towards helping you read words in context much more than helping you use words in context. That’s not all – the publishers of Ancient Greek lexicons face a bigger complaint, and a tougher challenge – to build and incorporate an equally robust English-Classical Greek section, which would help learners translate into Ancient Greek. Moving forward, we can only hope someone has the foresight to fill this clear gap in the language learning market.

Despite its age, and precisely due to its exhaustive depth and clarity, Liddell-Scott’s Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon is my current favorite recommendation to anyone searching for a solid Ancient Greek lexicon that will last throughout your years of learning Greek.