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 According to the Cook’s Thesaurus, an online cooking encyclopedia, molasses is the brownish-black, thick, syrupy liquid left behind after granulated sugar is extracted from sugar cane. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Quick, easy Pineapple Raisin Muffins freeze well," 16 Apr. 2020 Throughout the encyclopedia are Genus Spotlights, which provide additional detail and the stories behind plants. Sally Peterson, oregonlive, "Book review: ‘The Gardener’s Botanical’ decodes 5,000 Latin plant terms," 15 Apr. 2020 DuBois died on the eve of the 1963 March on Washington, while working on an encyclopedia of Africa. Lottie Joiner, USA TODAY, "In Ghana's Year of Return, NAACP goes home on behalf of the ancestors," 31 Jan. 2020 Producing this encyclopedia of cooking was an unbelievable endeavor. TheWeek, "6 book recommendations from Dominique Ansel," 12 Apr. 2020 Fox said the World Book encyclopedia is particularly popular for kids to complete assignments. Kellie Hwang, Indianapolis Star, "Free ways to keep kids entertained and educated at home during coronavirus shutdowns," 13 Mar. 2020 The student then submitted the information about the fake candidate, including filling in a short survey, to Ballotpedia, a nonprofit website that bills itself as an encyclopedia of American political candidates. Donie O'sullivan, CNN, "A high school student created a fake 2020 candidate. Twitter verified it," 28 Feb. 2020 But what’s most exciting about Le Crocodile is that its young and energetic chefs seem focussed mainly on perfecting—and occasionally gently revising—an encyclopedia of classics. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "Le Crocodile’s Bold Brooklyn Ambitions," 21 Feb. 2020 While the crowd-collaborative encyclopedia is sometimes dismissed as inaccurate, a 2005 study by Nature found that Wikipedia was about as trustworthy as Encyclopedia Britannica. Morgan Enos, Fortune, "Twitter is testing new ways to fight misinformation. Is an open-sourced method the answer?," 26 Feb. 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

10 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Encyclopedia.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/encyclopedia. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce encyclopedia (audio)

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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