A dictionary is a list of words defined in terms of each other. There are different types of dictionaries, some are cross references between different languages, or between usages of words from the past. Dictionaries that are specific to a single language usually give pronuciation information, as well as the history or etymology of the word and the definition.
Dictionaries come in two basic philosophies, prescriptive and descriptive. The OED is descriptive, and attempts to describe actual usage. Noah Webster, on the other hand, changed the meanings and pronunciation of numerous words. The art and craft of writing dictionaries is callled lexicography.
See also Thesaurus.
- New Oxford Dictionary of English
- New Oxford American Dictionary
- Noah Webster's ' An American Dictionary of the English Language'
- A dictionary project which is similar in spirit to Wikipedia is the GNU Collaborative International Dictionary of English (GCIDE). This dictionary uses Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) and WordNet as its sources and is being developed collaboratively under the terms of the GNU General Public License. Call for collaborators contains a statement of the project's aims. GCIDE is available from:
- http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/english/emed/emedd.html A collection of the earliest English and English/other language dictionaries.
- Everything2 (http://everything2.com/) contains among other things the entire "Webster 1913" dictionary.