en·​cy·​clo·​pe·​dic | \in-ˌsī-klə-ˈpē-dik \

Definition of encyclopedic 

: of, relating to, or suggestive of an encyclopedia or its methods of treating or covering a subject : comprehensive an encyclopedic mind an encyclopedic collection of armor

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Other Words from encyclopedic

encyclopedically \ in-​ˌsī-​klə-​ˈpē-​di-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Did You Know?

In Greek, paidaea meant not simply "child-rearing" but also "education", and kyklios meant "general;" thus, an encyclopedia is a work broad enough to provide a kind of general education. The world's most eminent general encyclopedia, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, is a huge work that covers every field of human knowledge. But encyclopedic doesn't have to refer to books; it's often used to describe the wide-ranging knowledge that certain types of minds just can't stop acquiring.

Examples of encyclopedic in a Sentence

She published an encyclopedic study of ancient Egypt. The event was described in encyclopedic detail. his almost encyclopedic knowledge of movies
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Recent Examples on the Web

To track down food and ensure the survival of the colony, worker bees must draw on their knowledge of smells, patterns and efficient routes to and from the hive—a process that requires the insects to remember an encyclopedic amount of information. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "‘Safe’ Levels of Pesticide Still Hamper Bees’ Memory and Ability to Learn," 12 July 2018 But the Roman scholar’s encyclopedic work still stands as the most impressive synthesis of scientific knowledge in the ancient era, as scientists have once again learned. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Scientists admit Pliny the Elder was right about orcas and whales.," 11 July 2018 Speakers praised his encyclopedic knowledge not only of sports, but of movies and classic rock. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "Capital Gazette's John McNamara eulogized as exemplary reporter who loved sports, community journalism," 10 July 2018 The annual event attracts Cheesemongers (sellers of cheese, butter, and other dairy paraphernalia) from around the country who competed their encyclopedic knowledges of cheese for a prize. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "Chèvre or Harbison? Cheesemongers Weigh In on The Best Cheese to Bring to a Picnic," 6 July 2018 Seriously, the guy’s knowledge of black holes is encyclopedic. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "An Astronomer Explains Black Holes at 5 Levels of Difficulty," 5 July 2018 After living in the Ant-Man universe for several years, Paul Rudd has developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the tiny insect. Eli Wolfe, SFChronicle.com, "‘Ant-Man’ Paul Rudd talks tiny insects and Skywalker Ranch," 2 July 2018 Formerly director of a small but respected university museum, curator at another and briefly a curatorial assistant at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, he's been leading the encyclopedic Baltimore Museum for just 20 months. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "MOCA has lacked an effective director for nearly 20 years. It's time for change," 26 May 2018 Spend the afternoon browsing the contemporary and modern collections at the Stedelijk Museum and the encyclopedic Van Gogh Museum. Andrea Whittle, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Days in Amsterdam," 16 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'encyclopedic.' 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 encyclopedic

1824, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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The first known use of encyclopedic was in 1824

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English Language Learners Definition of encyclopedic

: dealing with or knowing a subject thoroughly or completely

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Comments on encyclopedic

What made you want to look up encyclopedic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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