Definition of dictionary
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 syntactic 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
Recent Examples of dictionary from the Web
These have included sending students to leadership and music camps, supporting families at the Ronald McDonald House, providing scholarships to high school seniors and giving dictionaries to third graders.
Long before the word woke had anything to do with issues of inequality, some were using it to simply mean awake, says Katherine Martin, head of Oxford's U.S. dictionaries.
Some young doctors master complex procedures, some memorize a dictionary full of symptoms.
Once again, another banger borrowing from the ever-evolving LGBTQ dictionary.
The Early Days Initial computer translation efforts aimed to build complex rule sets and dictionaries that could translate every possible phrase or sentence.
Even dictionaries like Oxford English have unhelpfully declared both pronunciations valid.)
In summary judgment motions, both sides trotted out the dictionary with Atlantic arguing that Universal was ignoring the reality of warfare in the 21st century and talking about what happened on Sept. 11, 2001.
This time, though, the dictionary didn't jab at Trump.
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.
Origin and Etymology of dictionary
Medieval Latin dictionarium, from Late Latin diction-, dictio word, from Latin, speaking
First Known Use: 1526See Words from the same year
DICTIONARY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of dictionary for English Language Learners
: 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
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
Learn More about dictionary
See 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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