[ glos-uh-ree, glaw-suh- ]
/ ˈglɒs ə ri, ˈglɔ sə- /

noun, plural glos·sa·ries.

a list of terms in a special subject, field, or area of usage, with accompanying definitions.
such a list at the back of a book, explaining or defining difficult or unusual words and expressions used in the text.

Origin of glossary

1350–1400; Middle English glossarye < Latin glōssarium difficult word requiring explanation < Greek glōssárion, diminutive of glôssa tongue, language; later taken as a collection of such words, by construing suffix as Latin -ārium -ary; cf. gloss2
Related formsglos·sar·i·al [glo-sair-ee-uh l, glaw-] /glɒˈsɛər i əl, glɔ-/, adjectiveglos·sar·i·al·ly, adverbglos·sa·rist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for glossary

British Dictionary definitions for glossary


/ (ˈɡlɒsərɪ) /

noun plural -ries

an alphabetical list of terms peculiar to a field of knowledge with definitions or explanationsSometimes called: gloss
Derived Formsglossarial (ɡlɒˈsɛərɪəl), adjectiveglossarially, adverbglossarist, noun

Word Origin for glossary

C14: from Late Latin glossārium; see gloss ²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for glossary



late 14c., from Latin glossarium "collection of glosses," from Greek glossarion, diminutive of glossa "obsolete or foreign word" (see gloss (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper