encyclopedia

play
noun 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

Recent Examples of encyclopedia from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of encyclopedia

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


ENCYCLOPEDIA Defined for English Language Learners

encyclopedia

play
noun

Definition of encyclopedia for English Language Learners

  • : 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


ENCYCLOPEDIA Defined for Kids

encyclopedia

play
noun en·cy·clo·pe·dia \ in-ˌsī-klə-ˈpē-dē-ə \

Definition of encyclopedia for Students

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

History for encyclopedia

If you read an entire encyclopedia, you might learn something about nearly everything, and, suitably, the original sense of the word encyclopedia was “general education” or “education in all branches of knowledge.” Encyclopedia is formed from two Greek words, enkyklios, meaning “circular, recurrent, ordinary,” and paideia, “education.” Paideia is itself a derivative of pais, “child.”



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