Definition of dictionary
1: a reference source in print or electronic form containing words usually alphabetically arranged along with information about their forms, pronunciations, functions, etymologies, meanings, and syntactic and idiomatic uses
2: a reference book listing alphabetically terms or names important to a particular subject or activity along with discussion of their meanings and applications
3: a reference book listing alphabetically the words of one language and showing their meanings or translations in another language
4: a computerized list (as of items of data or words) used for reference (as for information retrieval or word processing)
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Example Sentences
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Synonyms for dictionary
Synonyms

lexicon, wordbookVisit the Thesaurus for More
Examples of dictionary in a Sentence
Famed for his dictionary, "Rambler" essays and The Lives of the English Poets, Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) remains one of the most-quoted and carefully observed authors who ever lived.
— Publishers Weekly, 21 July 2008
I still read relatively slowly in Yiddish, with frequent recourse to a dictionary, and my first year of graduate school found me at my desk till two or three in the morning every night …
— Aaron Lansky, Outwitting History, 2004
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Recent Examples on the Web

From poets Robert Burns, Hugh MacDiarmid and Sheena Blackhall to novelist Irvine Welsh, the language has a rich literary tradition, and even has its own dictionary.
— Sadie Ryan, Quartz, "Social media is helping keep a hilarious and brilliant Scottish language alive," 15 Aug. 2019
Merriam-Webster tweeted out its top searches on its online dictionary for the night after the rally.
— CNN, "Searches for racism, fascism, xenophobia rose during controversial Donald Trump rally," 18 July 2019
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dictionary.' 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 dictionary
1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dictionary
borrowed from Medieval Latin dictiōnārium, name for an alphabetized guide to the Vulgate, earlier dictiōnārius, name for a Latin textbook in which words are grouped by topic (apparently coined by its author, the 13th-century English-born university teacher John of Garland), from Latin dictiōn-, dictiō "speech, (in grammar) word, expression" + -ārius, -ārium -ARY entry 1 — more at DICTION

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From the Editors at Merriam-Webster
alt 5b51feb34c621
An Explanation of Why We (Sometimes) Truncate Definitions
Or, why 'invitation' is "the act of inviting"

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Slang in the Dictionary, Part Two

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Guest Post: How to Be a Reasonable Prescriptivist
Descriptivism doesn't mean that anything goes

Dictionary Entries near dictionary
dictier

dictiest

diction

dictionary

dictionary catalog

dictionary definition

Dictograph

Statistics for dictionary
Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Top 1% of lookups

Time Traveler for dictionary The first known use of dictionary was in 1526
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More Definitions for dictionary
dictionary noun
English Language Learners Definition of dictionary
: a reference book that contains words listed in alphabetical order and that gives information about the words' meanings, forms, pronunciations, etc.
: a reference book that lists in alphabetical order the words of one language and shows their meanings or translations in a different language
: a reference book that lists in alphabetical order words that relate to a particular subject along with their definitions and uses
See the full definition for dictionary in the English Language Learners Dictionary

dictionary noun
dic·​tio·​nary | \ ˈdik-shə-ˌner-ē \
plural dictionaries
Kids Definition of dictionary
1: a book giving the meaning and usually the pronunciation of words listed in alphabetical order
2: a reference book explaining words of a particular subject listed in alphabetical order
a medical dictionary
3: a book listing words of one language in alphabetical order with definitions in another language
More from Merriam-Webster on dictionary
Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dictionary

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dictionary

Spanish Central: Translation of dictionary

Nglish: Translation of dictionary for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dictionary for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dictionary

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