Meaning of “dictionary” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"dictionary" in British English

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dictionarynoun [ C ]

uk /ˈdɪk.ʃən.ər.i/ us /ˈdɪk.ʃən.er.i/

A1 a book that contains a list of words in alphabetical order and that explains their meanings, or gives a word for them in another language; a similar product for use on a computer:

a French-English/English-French dictionary
a bilingual/monolingual dictionary
To check how a word is spelled, look it up in a dictionary.

a book that gives information about a particular subject, in which the entries (= words or phrases) are given in alphabetical order:

a biographical/science dictionary
a dictionary of quotations

More examples

  • "Is that the correct spelling?" "I don't know - look it up in a dictionary."
  • In this dictionary, verbs which are intransitive are marked [I].
  • Count nouns are shown in this dictionary with [C].
  • This dictionary went online in 1999.
  • Notes on how to use this dictionary can be found at the beginning of the book.

(Definition of “dictionary” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"dictionary" in American English

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dictionarynoun [ C ]

us /ˈdɪk·ʃəˌner·i/

a book that lists words with their meanings given in the same or in another language, and often includes other information

(Definition of “dictionary” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)