Definition of encyclopedia in English:
- If you are unable to find a biography, check an encyclopedia or reference book at your library.
- Some of my favorite books are old, gorgeously illustrated encyclopedias and atlases.
- The wooden headboard held many books including, the Bible, a dictionary, encyclopedias, books, songs, and poems she had written.
mid 16th century: modern Latin, from pseudo-Greek enkuklopaideia for enkuklios paideia 'all-around education'.
An encyclopedia is literally a ‘circle of learning’. In ancient Greece a child was expected to receive a good all-round education, an enkuklios paideia in Greek. The word came to be spelled enkuklopaideia and made its way into English in the 1530s. Its first English meaning was ‘general course of instruction’, the meaning ‘large work of reference’ not appearing until 1644. The Latin-style spelling encyclopaedia is still sometimes used, partly because some encyclopedias, notably the Encyclopaedia Britannica (first published in 1768), use it in their title.
Definition of encyclopedia in:
- British & World English dictionary
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