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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
walking dictionary/encyclopedia
▪ "Does anyone know when Mozart was born?" "Look it up in the encyclopedia."
▪ a thirty-volume encyclopaedia
▪ In the encyclopedia Use the information in the poem and add ideas of your own.
▪ Instead, I was sitting on my couch examining baseball cards and looking them up in the encyclopedia.
▪ It has much the same sort of fascination as a dictionary, or a encyclopedia.
▪ Terminus is not a planet, but a scientific foundation preparing a great encyclopedia.
▪ The graphics and artwork reproduction are gorgeous and the encyclopedia information fascinating.
▪ Two five-dollar bills had fallen out from behind the encyclopedia just when she was needing money so badly.
▪ While she was identifying these predators in the encyclopedia, Ruby became noticeably paler and agitated.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Encyclopedia \En*cy`clo*pe"di*a\, Encyclopaedia \En*cy`clo*p[ae]"di*a\, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ?, for ? ?, instruction in the circle of arts and sciences: cf. F. encyclop['e]die. See Cyclopedia, and Encyclical.] [Formerly written encyclop[ae]dy and encyclopedy.] The circle of arts and sciences; a comprehensive summary of knowledge, or of a branch of knowledge; esp., a work in which the various branches of science or art are discussed separately, and usually in alphabetical order; a cyclopedia.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1530s, "general course of instruction," from Modern Latin encyclopaedia (c.1500), thought to be a false reading by Latin authors of Greek enkyklios paideia taken as "general education," but literally "training in a circle," i.e. the "circle" of arts and sciences, the essentials of a liberal education; from enkyklios "circular," also "general" (from en "in;" see in + kyklos "circle;" see cycle (n.)) + paideia "education, child-rearing," from pais (genitive paidos) "child" (see pedo-).\n

\nModern sense of "reference work arranged alphabetically" is from 1640s, often applied specifically to the French "Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des Sciences, des Arts, et des Métiers" (1751-65). Related: Encyclopedist.


n. 1 A comprehensive reference work (often spanning several printed volumes) with articles (usually arranged in alphabetical order, or sometimes arranged by category) on a range of subjects, sometimes general, sometimes limited to a particular field. 2 (context dated English) The circle of arts and sciences; a comprehensive summary of knowledge, or of a branch of knowledge.


n. a reference work (often in several volumes) containing articles on various topics (often arranged in alphabetical order) dealing with the entire range of human knowledge or with some particular specialty [syn: cyclopedia, encyclopaedia, cyclopaedia]


An encyclopedia or encyclopaedia (also spelled encyclopædia, see spelling differences) is a type of reference work or compendium holding a comprehensive summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge. Encyclopedias are divided into articles or entries, which are usually accessed alphabetically by article name. Encyclopedia entries are longer and more detailed than those in most dictionaries. Generally speaking, unlike dictionary entries, which focus on linguistic information about words, encyclopedia articles focus on factual information concerning the subject for which the article is named.

Encyclopedias have existed for around 2,000 years; the oldest still in existence, Naturalis Historia, was written starting in ca. AD 77 by Pliny the Elder and was not fully revised at the time of his death in AD 79. The modern encyclopedia evolved out of dictionaries around the 17th century. Historically, some encyclopedias were contained in one volume, whereas others, such as the Encyclopædia Britannica, the Enciclopedia Italiana (62 volumes, 56,000 pages) or the world's largest, Enciclopedia universal ilustrada europeo-americana (118 volumes, 105,000 pages), became huge multi-volume works. Some modern encyclopedias, such as Wikipedia, are electronic and often freely available.

Encyclopedia (disambiguation)

An encyclopedia is a type of reference work.

It may also refer to:

  • Encyclopedia (TV series), an HBO television series
  • Encyclopédia, a French TV channel
  • Encyclopedia Brown, a book series
Encyclopedia (album)

Encyclopedia is the third studio album of American indie pop band The Drums. It was released on September 23, 2014, by Minor Records.

It was the first album of the band released by Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham as a duo.

Encyclopedia (TV series)

Encyclopedia is a television series created by the HBO Network and the for-profit branch of the Children's Television Workshop (CTW), Distinguished Productions. The series premiered on the HBO network in 1988.

Each episode covered a letter or series of letters in the alphabet, with short skits of sketch comedy devoted to up to twelve corresponding encyclopedia topics. Several topics were related through song. Three of the six writers of the show had also been writers for NBC's Saturday Night Live: Patricia Marx, Brian McConnachie, and Mitchell Kriegman.

The series featured the band BETTY, who performed both the opening and closing themes as well as individual songs for selected topics.

Usage examples of "encyclopedia".

Earth, an outline of the evolution of our biosphere, the facts of anthropogenesis, a whole encyclopedia.

In addition to exegetical studies on Buddhism and Confucianism, they compiled dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference-type materials that provided the groundwork for nearly all subsequent scholarly activity in premodern Japan.

Absolutely Free, the titanic new-from-cover-tocover MODERNISTIC ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORLD KNOWLEDGE, the FIRST cyclopedia to be prepared, by a staff of World Experts, on the NEW SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES OF PHILOLOGY, BIOLOGY, PEDAGOGY, AGRONOMICS AND MONEY-MAKING, and the most magnificently illustrated Book of Reference in the entire history of publishing.

Repeating procedures, digging up the software encyclopedia and putting the interlingua alphabet onscreen.

Hamlin, still roaring with turbulent inner laughter, was sending up scene after scene out of his no doubt actual experience, coupling with Lissa in this position, in that one, Lissa on top, Lissa down on her knees being had dogwise, the whole copulatory biography of their long-age liaison, and Macy, helpless, his phantom images of Jeanie Grossman and the encyclopedia woman swept away by this gushing incursion of reality, lay stunned and sobbing and impotent waiting for Hamlin to stop tormenting him.

Or about accelerated education of our young by nanorobots which coast through their brains, bringing encyclopedias of knowledge disguised in a single mouthful of Koolaid.

Alexander tested this by having Bucephalus scan the Encyclopedia Britannica and store it all in its memory.

Teds stories, John Clute wrote in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, constituted a set of codes or maps capable of leading maimed adolescents out of alienation and into the light.

Wilson compares this approach to taking out one page of an encyclopedia at a time, ripping it up and putting it together again.

Bloodletters and Badmen: A Narrative Encyclopedia of America Criminals from the Pilgrims to the Present.

I tole her I am quittin the encyclopedia bidness to go up to Atlanta an help Alfred make his new CokeCola, an that I figger I got to do this, account of it is a lot of money involved an we need to fix up little Forrest with some backup income.

Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia, 11:273 Raymond, Out of the Fiery Furnace (1984) Scurlock, Bioenergy Feedstock Characteristics, http://bioenergy.

I was in the Science Library, digging something out of the Encyclopedia Britannica, when she appeared beside me and placed on the open page an evidently premeditated thin envelope, bulgingly confessing the coins within.

Even though we know, from the encyclopedias, that the secret is to co-polymerize butadiene and styrene (or acrylonitrile), where exactly are the butadiene and styrene coming from?

Then he leaned back in his antique swivel chair, locked his hands behind his head, elevated his long legs luxuriously, and crossed his feet upon the fourth volume of the American and English Encyclopedia of Law, which lay open upon the desk at Champerty and Maintenance.