en·​cy·​clo·​pe·​dia | \ in-ˌsī-klə-ˈpē-dē-ə How to pronounce encyclopedia (audio) \

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

Examples of encyclopedia in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Women in Modern European History digital encyclopedia; these experiences had a profound influence on Butler, informing much of her later activist work. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, "Pioneering Victorian Suffragist’s Unseen Watercolor Paintings Are Up for Sale," 25 Mar. 2021 The encyclopedia attributes the success to volunteers, advertising and public-relations expertise from philanthropies. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County had best record in the nation for Sabin polio vaccine distribution," 13 Jan. 2021 Pokémon professors in the games ask trainers to help with cataloguing the creatures with a high-tech encyclopedia called a Pokédex. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "These three Australian beetles are hard to find. So two researchers named them after Pokémon.," 30 Mar. 2021 Some may be the result of self-censorship or simply cultural differences between those writing the encyclopedia articles. Will Knight, Wired, "How Censorship Can Influence Artificial Intelligence," 4 Feb. 2021 Only Indiana, Texas and Tennessee have that high of a quorum requirement to conduct general business according to the National Conference of State Legislatures and the political encyclopedia website Ballotpedia. oregonlive, "Why do Oregon lawmakers, alone in the nation, use walkouts as a repeated tactic? Because they work," 13 Mar. 2021 Reeves became a legend for his ability to catch criminals under trying circumstances, according to the encyclopedia entry. Bill Bowden, Arkansas Online, "Black lawman a star in France," 28 Feb. 2021 Emmanuelle Chriqui plays Lana Lang, which raises all sorts of possibilities in my comic-book-encyclopedia head. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "Best comics shows coming in 2021: Captain Comics," 16 Jan. 2021 My art education came from the pages of a 1961 World Book encyclopedia set. Los Angeles Times, "How learning to curate my art at home helped me unpack my grief," 24 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'encyclopedia.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of encyclopedia

1644, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for encyclopedia

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

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Time Traveler for encyclopedia

Time Traveler

The first known use of encyclopedia was in 1644

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Statistics for encyclopedia

Last Updated

21 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Encyclopedia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encyclopedia. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of encyclopedia

: 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


en·​cy·​clo·​pe·​dia | \ in-ˌsī-klə-ˈpē-dē-ə How to pronounce encyclopedia (audio) \

Kids Definition of encyclopedia

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

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