en·​cy·​clo·​pe·​dia in-ˌsī-klə-ˈpē-dē-ə How to pronounce encyclopedia (audio)
: 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 Pliny the Elder’s radical idea to catalog knowledge This year marks 2,000 years since the birth of the Roman author of the first natural encyclopedia. Big Think, 24 June 2024 My script was based on Queen Nymeria and this little blurb about her that was in a Westeros encyclopedia. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 June 2024 Having public phones in 2024 might be about as useful as a newspaper vending machine or an encyclopedia. Erin Couch, The Enquirer, 30 Apr. 2024 One day, in one of his usual Friday visits to your home, Poppa brings you a surprise, an encyclopedia of baseball. Bob Brody, New York Daily News, 31 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for encyclopedia 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'encyclopedia.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of encyclopedia was in 1644

Dictionary Entries Near encyclopedia

Cite this Entry

“Encyclopedia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encyclopedia. Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


variants also encyclopaedia
: a work that contains information on all subjects or one that covers a certain subject thoroughly usually with articles arranged alphabetically

from Latin encyclopedia "course of general education," from Greek enkyklios "general, all-around," literally, "circular" and Greek paideia "education, child rearing"

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