lexicon

noun
lex·​i·​con | \ ˈlek-sə-ˌkän also -kən \
plural lexica\ ˈlek-​sə-​kə \ or lexicons

Definition of lexicon

1 : a book containing an alphabetical arrangement of the words in a language and their definitions : dictionary a French lexicon
2a : the vocabulary of a language, an individual speaker or group of speakers, or a subject computer terms that have been added to the lexicon
b : the total stock of morphemes in a language
3 : repertoire, inventory added the DVD to his video lexicon

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Synonyms for lexicon

Synonyms

dictionary, wordbook

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Tips on Using Lexicon in a Sentence

The word lexicon has a number of closely-related meanings, which can easily lead to confusion and may cause the word to be used in an awkward way. Lexicon can refer to a general dictionary of a language (as in "a lexicon of the Hebrew language") and also to a narrower printed compilation of words within some sphere (as in "a medical lexicon" or "a lexicon of the German in Finnegans Wake").

Similarly, lexicon can refer both to the vocabulary of a specific group of people ("the lexicon of French") or to the general language used by an unspecified group of people ("a word that has not entered the general lexicon yet"). It may also often be found in reference to the vocabulary employed by a particular speaker ("'Failure' is not a word in my lexicon").

Examples of lexicon in a Sentence

a computer term that has entered the general lexicon an avid word enthusiast who is compiling a lexicon of archaic and unusual words

Recent Examples on the Web

Some have glimpsed traces of his lexicon in Wes Anderson’s films. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Celebrate Yasujirō Ozu," 12 Dec. 2018 Copywriters are infusing holidays into our lexicon with no one to stop them! Ashley Carman, The Verge, "People participate in hashtag holidays if they feel a personal connection," 26 Dec. 2018 With the new get-out-the-vote efforts come a new lexicon. Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "‘Textavism’ Is the New Way To Rally the Party Faithful," 16 Nov. 2018 The Oxford English Dictionary added 420 to its lexicon last year after reviewing the Waldos’ records and credits the men as the creators. Paul Elias, BostonGlobe.com, "What is 4/20, and why is it a stoner holiday? A look at how ‘420’ became linked to marijuana," 19 Apr. 2018 Over the past decade or so, rappers have developed their own luxury-brand lexicons through their signature songs. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Young Thug Reps More Than Chanel in His New Music Video," 27 Nov. 2018 To get them into the public lexicon, media manipulators must convince major media amplifiers to work on their behalf. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How a new class of “digital martyrs” are manipulating social networks," 18 Sep. 2018 Like staycation, Stamper believes this word will stick around in our lexicon. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Made-Up Travel Words We Love to Hate," 18 July 2018 In addition to logging food, the other pillar of the Weight Watchers lexicon is community. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "As “dieting” becomes more taboo, Weight Watchers is changing its name," 24 Sep. 2018

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

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lexicon

Late Greek lexikon, from neuter of lexikos of words, from Greek lexis word, speech, from legein to say — more at legend

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Statistics for lexicon

Last Updated

25 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lexicon

The first known use of lexicon was in 1580

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More Definitions for lexicon

lexicon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of lexicon

: the words used in a language or by a person or group of people

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