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

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

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About that huge culinary encyclopedia, the Larousse, and its mates: Downsizing my cookbooks was the hardest hurdle. Bonnie S. Benwick, The Seattle Times, "Kitchen confidential: How I downsized the most important room in the house," 24 Sep. 2018 In the days before the election, Alexa will be offering information on voter registration deadlines, polling places and times, and ballot information from Ballotpedia, a nonprofit, nonpartisan digital encyclopedia. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Alexa will tell you where you can vote and give real-time election updates," 31 Oct. 2018 According to the Wikimedia Foundation, Pruitt is the most prolific contributor to the English version of the digital encyclopedia. Stephen Harrison, The Seattle Times, "Wikipedia’s MVP: One volunteer’s endless affection for information," 2 Oct. 2018 There are cellphones where there once were phone booths, and laptops where there was once the the encyclopedia. Robert Lloyd, latimes.com, "With ‘Condor,’ the classic Robert Redford thriller gets a TV reboot," 4 June 2018 Knausgaard has assembled this living encyclopedia for his daughter with a wild and desperate sort of love, as a way to forge her attachment to the world, to fasten her to it — to fight the family legacy of becoming unmoored and alienated. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "With ‘Spring,’ Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Latest Project Comes Into Focus," 8 May 2018 The group of sewers used an encyclopedia to put together the flag, using it for the design and to help with dimensions. Fox News, "100 year-old flag made for US soldiers who died during World War I returns to Scottish island," 1 May 2018 That ambition and impatience is on full display in our 2018 edition of the Forbes 30 Under 30, our annual encyclopedia of creative disruption featuring 600 young stars in 20 different industries. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Who wins the annual Forbes’ “30 Under 30” education awards? New study details telling links between judges and winners," 3 July 2018 Standing just a foot away from Ruiz, Perez fired a gun directly at an encyclopedia that Ruiz was holding in front of his chest, according to the criminal complaint previously obtained by PEOPLE. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "Pregnant Mom Who Fatally Shot Boyfriend in Botched YouTube Stunt Gets Six Months in Jail," 15 Mar. 2018

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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Statistics for encyclopedia

Last Updated

21 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for encyclopedia

The first known use of encyclopedia was in 1644

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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 \

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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