An extraordinary boom of lexicographical works dealing with Medicine took place in the last years of the eighteenth century and in the nineteenth century in Europe, particularly in France, and to a lesser extent in Germany and the United Kingdom. This lexicographical “fever” spread to other European countries, in which, together with the local production, translations of these works, originally written in German, English or French, were to be found. That would be the case in Spain, where, together with some originally Spanish-written works, quite a large number of medical dictionaries were translated from French and, in the last quarter of the eighteenth century, from German. Not all the planned works, however, whether originally written or translated, found their final way to become printed material. The ones who did were in some cases published not with the initially planned length or number of volumes. Causes were varied – together with the (most obvious) economic one, many others were to blame, such as cultural, social or religious elements.

In this work we focus on those causes taking the following dictionaries as examples: the Spanish-written Diccionario médico by Francisco Suárez de Ribera and also Joaquín de Villalba’s Diccionario de Higiene y Economía rural veterinaria, both composed in the eighteenth century; and two other encyclopedic medical dictionaries translated into Spanish in the nineteenth century – one from French and the other one from German. In all four cases, and for various reasons, these works were somehow “blocked” in their editorial process.