- a book, set of books, optical disc, mobile device, or online informational resource containing articles on various topics, usually in alphabetical arrangement, covering all branches of knowledge or, less commonly, all aspects of one subject.
- (initial capital letter) the French work edited by Diderot and D'Alembert, published in the 18th century, distinguished by its representation of the views of the Enlightenment.
Origin of encyclopedia
Examples from the Web for encyclopedia
I joke that I started as a kid revising the encyclopedia by stickering the one my mother bought.You Can Look It Up: The Wikipedia Story
October 19, 2014
Reading the Encyclopedia Brittanica while walking the Appalachian Trail!Smoke ‘Em If You Got A Good Story About ‘Em
June 6, 2014
In Paris, Kis completed his last work, The Encyclopedia of the Dead, a wonderful collection of fablelike stories.Danilo Kis, the Stylish Historian of Infamy
June 19, 2013
When I read the encyclopedia, I made a list of the best and worst jobs in the world.A.J. Jacobs: How I Write
May 29, 2013
I would read the encyclopedia, medical books, and in bookstores I looked for the human-sexuality section.How 10 Porn Stars Lost Their Virginity
May 7, 2013
If you will look in the Encyclopedia Donkaniara you will find I'm correct.The Road to Oz
L. Frank Baum
The books are large, about the size of a volume of an encyclopedia.Story of My Life
Any encyclopedia and many books of legends will tell you more about Roland.Story Hour Readings: Seventh Year
He was certain it could be found in one of his father's books, if not in the encyclopedia.The Electronic Mind Reader
It was in this establishment that he worked on his Encyclopedia.All About Coffee
William H. Ukers
- a book, often in many volumes, containing articles on various topics, often arranged in alphabetical order, dealing either with the whole range of human knowledge or with one particular subjecta medical encyclopedia
Word Origin and History for encyclopedia
1530s, "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" + kyklos "circle") + paideia "education, child-rearing," from pais (genitive paidos) "child" (see pedo-).
Modern 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).