Simple Definition of dictionary
: a reference book that contains words listed in alphabetical order and that gives information about the words' meanings, forms, pronunciations, etc.
: a reference book that lists in alphabetical order the words of one language and shows their meanings or translations in a different language
: a reference book that lists in alphabetical order words that relate to a particular subject along with their definitions and uses
Full Definition of dictionaryplural
1 : a reference source in print or electronic form containing words usually alphabetically arranged along with information about their forms, pronunciations, functions, etymologies, meanings, and syntactical and idiomatic uses
2 : a reference book listing alphabetically terms or names important to a particular subject or activity along with discussion of their meanings and applications
3 : a reference book listing alphabetically the words of one language and showing their meanings or translations in another language
4 : a computerized list (as of items of data or words) used for reference (as for information retrieval or word processing)
Examples of dictionary in a sentence
Famed for his dictionary, “Rambler” essays and The Lives of the English Poets, Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) remains one of the most-quoted and carefully observed authors who ever lived. —Publishers Weekly, 21 July 2008
I still read relatively slowly in Yiddish, with frequent recourse to a dictionary, and my first year of graduate school found me at my desk till two or three in the morning every night … —Aaron Lansky, Outwitting History, 2004
Look it up in the dictionary.
<try to develop the habit of going to the dictionary whenever you encounter an unfamiliar word>
Origin and Etymology of dictionary
Medieval Latin dictionarium, from Late Latin diction-, dictio word, from Latin, speaking
First Known Use: 1526
DICTIONARY Defined for Kids
Definition of dictionary for Students
1 : a book giving the meaning and usually the pronunciation of words listed in alphabetical order
2 : a reference book explaining words of a particular subject listed in alphabetical order <a medical dictionary>
3 : a book listing words of one language in alphabetical order with definitions in another language
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