Dictionary

encyclopedia

noun en·cy·clo·pe·dia \in-ˌsī-klə-ˈpē-dē-ə\

: a reference work (such as a book, series of books, Web site, or CD-ROM) that contains information about many different subjects or a lot of information about a particular subject

Full Definition of ENCYCLOPEDIA

:  a work that contains information on all branches of knowledge or treats comprehensively a particular branch of knowledge usually in articles arranged alphabetically often by subject
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Origin of ENCYCLOPEDIA

Medieval Latin encyclopaedia course of general education, from Greek enkyklios + paideia education, child rearing, from paid-, pais child — more at few
First Known Use: 1644

Other Publishing Terms

annotate, dreadful, emend, expurgate, factoid, jump, lobster shift, redaction, referee
ENCYCLOPEDIA Defined for Kids

encyclopedia

noun en·cy·clo·pe·dia \in-ˌsī-klə-ˈpē-dē-ə\

Definition of ENCYCLOPEDIA for Kids

:  a book or a set of books containing information on all branches of learning in articles arranged alphabetically by subject

Word History of ENCYCLOPEDIA

If you read an entire encyclopedia, you might learn something about nearly everything, and, suitably, the original sense of the word encyclopedia was general education or education in all branches of knowledge. Encyclopedia is formed from two Greek words, enkyklios, meaning circular, recurrent, ordinary, and paideia, education. Paideia is itself a derivative of pais, child.

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