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Definition of dictionary

Several definitions of ‘dictionary’ can be found in the relevant literature. Here we present two, which we think are among the most representative.

A. A book dealing with the individual words of a language (or certain specified classes of them), so as to set forth their orthography, pronunciation, signification and use, their synonyms, derivation and history, or at least some of these facts: for convenience of reference, the words are arranged in some stated order, now, in most languages, alphabetical; and in larger dictionaries the information given is illustrated by quotations from literature’ (Matore, 1968:20 as cited in Bejoint, 2000:7).

B. A dictionary is a systematically arranged list of socialized linguistic forms compiled from the speech-habits of a given speech-community and commented on by the author in such a way that the qualified reader understands the meaning… of each separate form, and is informed of the relevant facts concerning the function of that form in its community (Zgusta, 1971:17 as cited in Bejoint, 2000:7).