Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Dictionary

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DICTIONARY (from the Latin dictio, a saying, expression, word), a book containing the words, or subjects, which it treats, arranged in alphabetical order. It may be either a vocabulary, or a collection of the words in a language, with their definitions, or a special work on one or more branches of science or art prepared on the principle of alphabetical arrangement, such as dictionaries of biography, law, music, medicine, etc. Among the dictionaries of the English language, the earliest seem to have been those of Barett (1573), and of Bullokar (1616). That of Dr. Johnson published in 1755 made an epoch in this department of literature. The first important dictionary of the English language is that by Noah Webster (1828). It has been frequently republished, and in subsequent editions has almost entirely altered its character. The large American dictionary by Dr. Worcester was once a rival of Webster's. Dr. Ogilvie's English dictionary (based on Webster, and first published in 1847-1850) was published in a remodeled and enlarged form (4 vols. 1881-1882, Chas. Annadale, LL.D., editor). Cassell's “Encyclopædic Dictionary” is another extensive and useful work (1879-1888). An English dictionary “on historical principles,” edited by J. A. H. Murray, LL. D., with the assistance of many scholars, is published at the Clarendon Press (London). The “Century Dictionary” (New York, 1889-1891) in six volumes, with a supplementary “Cyclopædia of Names,” is a comprehensive and useful work. In 1885 appeared the “Standard Dictionary” (New York), which adopts the spelling reform system of the American Philological Association. A revised edition appeared in 1915. The chief etymological dictionary of English words is that by Professor Skeat (1882); the chief French is that of Littré; German, that of Grimm.