A dictionary is a book of alphabetically listed words in a specific language, with definitions, etymologies, pronunciations, and other information; or a book of alphabetically listed words in one language with their equivalents in another, also known as a lexicon. A word is a unit of Language that carries meaning and consists of one or more Morphemes which are linked more or less tightly together and has a Phonetic In Linguistics, the lexicon (from Greek Λεξικόν of a language is its Vocabulary, including its words and expressions 
In many languages, words can appear in many different forms, but only the undeclined or unconjugated form appears as the headword in most dictionaries. In Linguistics a lemma (plural lemmas or lemmata) has two distinct interpretations morphology / Lexicography: the See also Lemma (linguistics A headword, head word, lemma, or sometimes catchword is the word under which a set of related Dictionary Dictionaries are most commonly found in the form of a book, but some newer dictionaries, like StarDict and the New Oxford American Dictionary on Mac OS X, are dictionary software running on PDAs or computers. StarDict, developed by Hu Zheng (胡正 is a free GUI released under the GPL for accessing StarDict dictionary files (a dictionary shell The New Oxford American Dictionary ( NOAD) is a single-volume Dictionary of North American English compiled by American editors at Mac OS X (mæk oʊ ɛs tɛn is a line of computer Operating systems developed marketed and sold by Apple Inc, the latest of which is pre-loaded on all currently A computer is a Machine that manipulates data according to a list of instructions. There are also many online dictionaries accessible via the Internet. The Internet is a global system of interconnected Computer networks
The first known bilingual dictionaries were created in Ancient Mesopotamia - specifically in Ebla (modern Syria) - with cuneiform tablets displaying Sumerian words and their Akkadian equivalents dating back to 2300BC. Ebla ( Arabic: عبيل، إيبلا modern Tell Mardikh, Syria) was an ancient city about 55 km southwest of Aleppo. The first dictionary of the Chinese language, the Shuowen Jiezi, was written around 100 CE (although other sources suggest that Chinese scholars may have created a monolingual dictionary as far back as 1109BC), while a Greek lexicon (specifically a list of words used by Homer, and their meanings) was written by Apollonius the Sophist at around the same time. The Shuōwén Jiězì ( "Explaining Simple and Analyzing Compound Characters" was an early 2nd century CE Chinese dictionary from the Han Dynasty The Ancient Greek language is the historical stage in the development of the Hellenic language family spanning the Archaic (c Homer ( Ancient Greek:, Homēros) is a legendary ancient Greek epic Poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the According to the The Chronicles of Japan, Japanese dictionaries originated in 682 CE, although the first dictionary dealt with the deciphering of Chinese characters. The, sometimes translated as The Chronicles of Japan, is the second oldest book of classical Japanese history. Japanese dictionaries have a history that began over 1300 years ago when Japanese Buddhist priests who wanted to understand Chinese Sutras adapted Chinese character
The earliest European dictionaries were bilingual dictionaries. These were glossaries of French, Italian or Latin words, along with definitions of the foreign words in English. An early nonalphabetical list of 8000 English words was the Elementarie created by Richard Mulcaster in 1592. Richard Mulcaster (c 1531 Cumberland &ndash 15 April 1611, Essex) is known best for his headmasterships and pedagogic writings  Daniel Webster also made a dictionary in the 1700s. It was one of America's first dictionaries. That is where the Webster part in dictionaries comes from.
The first purely English alphabetical dictionary was A Table Alphabeticall, written by English schoolteacher Robert Cawdrey in 1604. A Table Alphabeticall is the abbreviated title of the first monolingual Dictionary in the English language, created by Robert Cawdrey and first The English people (from the adjective in Englisc) are a Nation and Ethnic group native to England who predominantly speak English Robert Cawdrey (ca 1538- after 1604 produced one of the first dictionaries of the English language, the Table Alphabeticall, in 1604 Conversely, it is eight hundred years after the first Arabic, and almost one-thousand years after the first Sanskrit in India. Arabic (ar الْعَرَبيّة (informally ar عَرَبيْ) in terms of the number of speakers is the largest living member of the Semitic language Sanskrit (sa संस्कृता वाक् saṃskṛtā vāk, for short sa संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam) is a historical India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country The only surviving copy is found at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The Bodleian Library ( the main Research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in England Oxford is currently bidding for the 2010 Wikimania Conference Oxford () is a city, and the County town of Oxfordshire, Yet this early effort, as well as the many imitators which followed it, was seen as unreliable and nowhere near definitive. It wasn't until Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) that a truly noteworthy, reliable English Dictionary was deemed to have been produced, and the fact that today many people still mistakenly believe Johnson to have written the first English Dictionary is a testament to this legacy. Samuel Johnson (often referred to as Dr Johnson) (18 September Published on 15 April 1755 and written by Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, sometimes published as Johnson's Dictionary, is among Year 1755 ( MDCCLV) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or By this stage, dictionaries had evolved to contain textual references for most words, and were arranged alphabetically, rather than by topic (a previously popular form of arrangement, which meant all animals would be grouped together etc. ). Johnson's masterwork could be judged as the first to bring all these elements together, creating the first 'modern' dictionary.
Johnson's Dictionary remained the English-language standard for over 150 years, until the Oxford University Press began writing and releasing the Oxford English Dictionary in short fascicles from 1884 onwards. The Oxford English Dictionary ( OED) published by the Oxford University Press (OUP is a comprehensive Dictionary of the English It took nearly 50 years to finally complete the huge work, and they finally released the complete OED in 12 volumes in 1928. The Oxford English Dictionary ( OED) published by the Oxford University Press (OUP is a comprehensive Dictionary of the English It remains the most comprehensive and trusted English language dictionary to this day, with revisions and updates added by a dedicated team every three months.
Today, dictionaries of most languages with alphabetic and syllabic writing systems list words in lexicographic order, usually alphabetical or some analogous phonetic system. A language is a dynamic set of visual auditory or tactile Symbols of Communication and the elements used to manipulate them An alphabet is a standardized set of letters basic written symbols each of which roughly represents a Phoneme, a Spoken language, either A writing system is a type of Symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in Language. In Mathematics, the lexicographic or lexicographical order, (also known as dictionary order, alphabetic order or lexicographic(al product Phonetics (from the Greek φωνή ( phonê) "sound" or "voice" is the study of the physical sounds of human speech Alphabetical ordering was a rarity until the 18th century. The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system  Before alphabetical listings, dictionaries were organized by topic, i. e. a list of animals all together in one topic.
In many languages, words are grouped together according to their root word, with the roots being arranged alphabetically. If English dictionaries were arranged like this, the words "import," "export," "support," "report," "porter," "important" and "transportation" would theoretically be listed under the Latin "portare," "to carry. " This method has the advantage that all words of a common origin are listed together, but the disadvantage is that one has to know the roots of the word before one can look it up. In Policy debate, a disadvantage (abbreviated as DA, and sometimes referred to as a Disad) is an argument that a team brings up against a policy action Some Hebrew, Sanskrit, and Arabic dictionaries work this way. Sanskrit (sa संस्कृता वाक् saṃskṛtā vāk, for short sa संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam) is a historical Arabic (ar الْعَرَبيّة (informally ar عَرَبيْ) in terms of the number of speakers is the largest living member of the Semitic language
While most of Japanese and Korean dictionaries are arranged according to their phonetic writing (kana syllabic script for the Japanese, and hangul alphabet for the Korean), the main body of modern Chinese dictionaries mostly is ordered according to the latin alphabet with the pinyin spelling ; but most Chinese dictionaries have an appendix ordering entries accordance to the Chinese logographic writing system, in order to allow readers to find words written in logograms whose pronunciation is not known. Kana is a general term for the syllabic Japanese scripts Hiragana (ひらがな and Katakana (カタカナ as well as the old system Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use A logogram, or logograph, is a Grapheme which represents a word or a Morpheme (a meaningful unit of language A logogram, or logograph, is a Grapheme which represents a word or a Morpheme (a meaningful unit of language Chinese characters may be sorted according to one of many schemes based on the component parts of the characters (radicals, number of strokes, overall shape). This disambiguation page differentiates the various historical uses of the term radical in the context of Chinese characters Stroke order ( 筆順 hitsujun or ja 書き順 kaki-jun; 필순 筆順 "pilsun" or ko 획순 畫順 "hoeksun" refers to the correct order in
Dictionaries can vary widely in coverage, size, and scope. A maximizing dictionary lists as many words as possible from a particular speech community (e. A Dictionary is maximizing if it attempts to include as many words as possible from a particular speech community g. , the Oxford English Dictionary), whereas a minimizing dictionary exclusively attempts to cover only a limited selection of words from a speech community (e. The Oxford English Dictionary ( OED) published by the Oxford University Press (OUP is a comprehensive Dictionary of the English A Dictionary is minimizing if it attempts to include only a limited selection of words from a particular speech community g. , a dictionary of Basic English words). Basic English is an attempted core Subset of The English language created by Charles Kay Ogden and described in his book Basic English A General Introduction Take for instance, two dictionaries of Chinese characters: the pocket-sized minimizing dictionary Xinhua Zidian (2004, 700 pages) only includes 11,200 commonly used characters, while the multi-volume maximizing dictionary Hanyu Da Zidian (1995, 5800 pages) includes over 54,678 characters and variants. A Chinese character, also known as a Han character ( is a Logogram used in writing Chinese (hanzi Japanese ( The Xinhua Zidian ( literally "new China character dictionary" is the best-selling Chinese dictionary and the world's most popular Reference work The Hanyu Da Zidian ( is one of the best available reference works on Chinese characters. Variant Chinese characters ( are Chinese characters that can be used interchangeably
There are many different types of special-purpose dictionaries, including bilingual, multilingual, scientifical, historical, biographical, technical and geographical dictionaries.
According to the Manual of Specialised Lexicography a specialized dictionary (also referred to as a technical dictionary) is a lexicon that focuses upon a specific subject field. A specialized dictionary is a Dictionary that covers a relatively restricted set of phenomena Following the description in The Bilingual LSP Dictionary lexicographers categorize specialized dictionaries into three types. A lexicographer is a person devoted to the study of Lexicography, especially an author of a Dictionary. A multi-field dictionary broadly covers several semantic fields (e. A multi-field dictionary is a Specialized dictionary that has been designed and compiled to cover the terms within two or more subject fields g. , a picture dictionary), a single-field dictionary narrowly covers one particular subject field (e. A picture dictionary is a Dictionary containing Word entries that for all or most such entries are accompanied by Photos or Drawings illustrating A single-field dictionary is a Specialized dictionary that has been designed and compiled to cover the terms of one particular subject field g. , law), and a sub-field dictionary covers a singular field (e. A sub-field dictionary is a Specialized dictionary that has been designed and compiled to cover the terms of one (or possibly more sub-fields of a particular subject field g. , constitutional law). For example, the 23-language Inter-Active Terminology for Europe is a multi-field dictionary, the American National Biography is a single-field, and the African American National Biography Project is a sub-field dictionary. Inter-Active Terminology for Europe ( IATE) is the inter-institutional Terminology Database of the European Union. The American National Biography is a 24 volume set containing approximately 17400 entries and 20 million words The African American National Biography Project is a joint project of the W In terms of the above coverage distinction between "minimizing dictionaries" and "maximizing dictionaries", multi-field dictionaries tend to minimize coverage across lexical fields (for instance, Oxford Dictionary of World Religions) whereas single-field and sub-field dictionaries tend to maximize coverage within a limited subject field (The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology). The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions is an alphabetical reference work with over 8200 entries topic index of 13000 headings The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology is a notable Etymological dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press See also LSP dictionary. A Language for Specific Purposes dictionary is a Dictionary that intends to describe a variety of one or more languages used by experts within a particular subject field
Data sets and databases collected and utilized for statistical analyses are typically accompanied by, or able to be used to generate, a list of all variable names used within the data set, as well as matters such as their meaning, values, level of measurement, length, decimal allowances, and type (numeric, string, etc. A Computer Database is a structured collection of records or data that is stored in a computer system Statistics is a mathematical science pertaining to the collection analysis interpretation or explanation and presentation of Data. A variable (ˈvɛərɪəbl is an Attribute of a physical or an abstract System which may change its Value while it is under Observation. The level of Measurement of a Variable in Mathematics and Statistics is a classification that is used to describe the nature of information )
Another variant is the glossary, an alphabetical list of defined terms in a specialised field, such as medicine or science. See also List of glossaries A glossary is a list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms The simplest dictionary, a defining dictionary, provides a core glossary of the simplest meanings of the simplest concepts. A defining Vocabulary is a published stable and culturally accepted Core glossary specifically used by dictionary publishers to standardize their use of simple words See also List of glossaries A glossary is a list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms From these, other concepts can be explained and defined, in particular for those who are first learning a language. In English, the commercial defining dictionaries typically include only one or two meanings of under 2000 words. With these, the rest of English, and even the 4000 most common English idioms and metaphors, can be defined. An idiom is a Phrase whose meaning cannot be deduced from the literal Definition, but refers instead to a figurative meaning that is known only Metaphor (from the Greek: μεταφορά - metaphora, meaning "transfer" is language that directly compares seemingly unrelated subjects
Dictionaries for languages for which the pronunciation of words is not apparent from their spelling, such as the English language, usually provide the pronunciation, often using the International Phonetic Alphabet. This concise chart shows the most common applications of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA to represent English language pronunciations Pronunciation respelling is a type of notation system used to convey Pronunciation of words in a language which doesn't have a Phonemic orthography The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA is a system of phonetic notation based on the Latin alphabet, devised by the International Phonetic For example, the definition for the word dictionary might be followed by the (American English) phonemic spelling: /ˈdɪkʃəˌnɛri/. English dictionaries, however, often use other systems, such as the English Phonemic Representation system, in which the pronunciation of dictionary is given as [dĭkʹshə-nârʹē]. Yet others use an ad hoc notation; for example, dictionary may become [DIK-shuh-nair-ee].
The online Turkish–English (and English–Turkish) dictionary Seslisozluk enables registered users to listen to the pronunciation of the words. Turkish ( tr Türkçe IPA) is a language spoken by over 63 million people worldwide making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Seslisozluk is a multilanguage Dictionary, primarily English to Turkish and Turkish to English
Dictionary makers apply two basic philosophies to the defining of words: prescriptive or descriptive. In Linguistics, prescription can refer both to the codification and the enforcement of rules governing how a language is to be used Noah Webster, intent on forging a distinct identity for the American language, altered spellings and accentuated differences in meaning and pronunciation of some words. Noah Webster (October 16 1758 &ndash May 28 1843 was an American Lexicographer, textbook author Spelling reformer word enthusiast and editor This is why American English now uses the spelling color while the rest of the English-speaking world prefers colour. Phonology North American English regional phonology In many ways compared to English English, North American English is conservative in its Phonology. (Similarly, British English subsequently underwent a few spelling changes that did not affect American English; see further at American and British English spelling differences. British English or UK English ( BrE, BE, en-GB) is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the American and British English spelling differences are one aspect of American and British English differences. ) Large 20th-century dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Webster's Third are descriptive, and attempt to describe the actual use of words. The Oxford English Dictionary ( OED) published by the Oxford University Press (OUP is a comprehensive Dictionary of the English Webster's Dictionary is the name given to a common type of English language dictionary in the United States.
While descriptivists argue that prescriptivism is an unnatural attempt to dictate usage or curtail change, prescriptivists argue that to indiscriminately document "improper" or "inferior" usages sanctions those usages by default and causes language to "deteriorate". Although the debate can become very heated, only a small number of controversial words are usually affected. But the softening of usage notations, from the previous edition, for two words, ain't and regardless, out of over 450,000 in Webster's Third in 1961, was enough to provoke outrage among many with prescriptivist leanings, who branded the dictionary as "permissive. Year 1961 ( MCMLXI) was a Common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. "
The prescriptive/descriptive issue has been given so much consideration in modern times that most dictionaries of English apply the descriptive method to definitions, while additionally informing readers of attitudes which may influence their choices on words often considered vulgar, offensive, erroneous, or easily confused. Merriam-Webster is subtle, only adding italicized notations such as, sometimes offensive or nonstand (nonstandard. Merriam-Webster, which was originally the G & C Merriam Company of Springfield Massachusetts, is an American company that publishes reference books ) American Heritage goes further, discussing issues separately in numerous "usage notes. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language ( AHD) is an American Dictionary of the English language published by " Encarta provides similar notes, but is more prescriptive, offering warnings and admonitions against the use of certain words considered by many to be offensive or illiterate, such as, "an offensive term for. The Encarta Webster's Dictionary 2004 is the second edition of the Encarta World English Dictionary, originally published in 1999 . . " or "a taboo term meaning. . . "
Because of the broad use of dictionaries, and their acceptance by many as language authorities, their treatment of the language does affect usage to some degree, even the most descriptive dictionaries providing conservative continuity. In the long run, however, usage primarily determines the meanings of words in English, and the language is being changed and created every day. As Jorge Luis Borges says in the prologue to "El otro, el mismo": "It is often forgotten that (dictionaries) are artificial repositories, put together well after the languages they define. The roots of language are irrational and of a magical nature. "
For languages other than modern English, see the article about that language. Penguin Group is the second largest trade book Publisher in the world behind Random House. Merriam-Webster, which was originally the G & C Merriam Company of Springfield Massachusetts, is an American company that publishes reference books Webster's Dictionary is the name given to a common type of English language dictionary in the United States. The Random House Dictionary of the English Language Unabridged was the original name of a large American Dictionary, first published in 1966, and recently The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language ( AHD) is an American Dictionary of the English language published by Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language is an American Dictionary first published in 1951 and presently published by John Wiley & Sons The Oxford English Dictionary ( OED) published by the Oxford University Press (OUP is a comprehensive Dictionary of the English Concise Oxford English Dictionary (until 2002 officially entitled The Concise Oxford Dictionary, and widely known by the abbreviation COD The Oxford Dictionary of English (formerly The New Oxford Dictionary of English, often abbreviated to NODE is a single-volume English language The New Oxford American Dictionary ( NOAD) is a single-volume Dictionary of North American English compiled by American editors at The Canadian Oxford Dictionary (abbreviated CanOD) is a Dictionary of Canadian English. Webster's Dictionary is the name given to a common type of English language dictionary in the United States. Samuel Johnson (often referred to as Dr Johnson) (18 September Published on 15 April 1755 and written by Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, sometimes published as Johnson's Dictionary, is among Noah Webster (October 16 1758 &ndash May 28 1843 was an American Lexicographer, textbook author Spelling reformer word enthusiast and editor The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia was one of the largest and most highly regarded encyclopedic dictionaries of the English language Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, sometimes referred to simply as Brewer's — is a Reference work containing definitions and explanations of many The Macquarie Dictionary is a Dictionary of Australian English. Australian English ( AuE, AusE, en-AU) is the form of the English language used in Australia. The tenth edition of The Chambers Dictionary of the English language was published in 2006 by Chambers Harrap Publishers. HarperCollins is a Publishing company owned by News Corporation. COBUILD, an acronym for Collins Birmingham University International Language Database, is a British research facility set up at the University of Birmingham in 1980 HarperCollins is a Publishing company owned by News Corporation. Longman was a publishing company founded in London, England in 1724 Black's Law Dictionary is the most widely-used Law dictionary for the Law of the United States. A Law Dictionary is a dictionary that is designed and compiled to give Information about terms used in the field of law See also articles such as Japanese dictionaries. Japanese dictionaries have a history that began over 1300 years ago when Japanese Buddhist priests who wanted to understand Chinese Sutras adapted Chinese character