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Find the most trusted, most up-to-date definitions from Merriam-Webster. Search word meaning, pronunciation, origin, synonyms, and more.
: a reference source in print or electronic form containing words usually alphabetically arranged along with information about their forms, pronunciations, functions, etymologies, meanings, and syntactic and idiomatic uses
: a reference book listing alphabetically terms or names important to a particular subject or activity along with discussion of their meanings and applications
: a reference book listing alphabetically the words of one language and showing their meanings or translations in another language
: a computerized list (as of items of data or words) used for reference (as for information retrieval or word processing)
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dictionary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1
borrowed from Medieval Latin dictiōnārium, name for an alphabetized guide to the Vulgate, earlier dictiōnārius, name for a Latin textbook in which words are grouped by topic (apparently coined by its author, the 13th-century English-born university teacher John of Garland), from Latin dictiōn-, dictiō "speech, (in grammar) word, expression" + -ārius, -ārium -ary entry 1 — more at diction
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More Definitions for 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
See the full definition for dictionary in the English Language Learners Dictionary
: a book giving the meaning and usually the pronunciation of words listed in alphabetical order
: a reference book explaining words of a particular subject listed in alphabetical order
a medical dictionary
: a book listing words of one language in alphabetical order with definitions in another language
More from Merriam-Webster on dictionary
Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dictionary
Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dictionary
Spanish Central: Translation of dictionary
Nglish: Translation of dictionary for Spanish Speakers
Britannica English: Translation of dictionary for Arabic Speakers
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dictionary
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