Definition of lexicographer
: an author or editor of a dictionary
lexicographer was our Word of the Day on 05/28/2011. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Today, we're looking at a word that is dear to our hearts: lexicographer. The ancient Greeks were some of the earliest makers of dictionaries; they used them mainly to catalog obsolete terms from their rich literary past. To create a word for writers of dictionaries, the Greeks sensibly attached the suffix -graphos, meaning "writer," to lexikon, meaning "dictionary," to form lexikographos, the direct ancestor of the English word lexicographer. Lexikon, which itself descends from Greek lexis (meaning "word" or "speech"), also gave us lexicon, which can mean either "dictionary" or "the vocabulary of a language, speaker, or subject."
Origin and Etymology of lexicographer
Late Greek lexikographos, from lexikon + Greek -graphos writer, from graphein to write
First Known Use: 1625
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