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vocabulary

[voh-kab-yuh-ler-ee]
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noun, plural vo·cab·u·lar·ies.
  1. the stock of words used by or known to a particular people or group of persons: His French vocabulary is rather limited. The scientific vocabulary is constantly growing.
  2. a list or collection of the words or phrases of a language, technical field, etc., usually arranged in alphabetical order and defined: Study the vocabulary in the fourth chapter.
  3. the words of a language.
  4. any collection of signs or symbols constituting a means or system of nonverbal communication: vocabulary of a computer.
  5. any more or less specific group of forms characteristic of an artist, a style of art, architecture, or the like.
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Origin of vocabulary

1525–35; < Medieval Latin vocābulārium, noun use of neuter of vocābulārius of words, equivalent to Latin vocābul(um) vocable + -ārius -ary
Related formsvo·cab·u·lar·ied, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for vocabulary

glossary, jargon, terminology, dictionary, lexicon, thesaurus, cant, words, palaver, phraseology, wordbook, word-hoard

Examples from the Web for vocabulary

Contemporary Examples of vocabulary

Historical Examples of vocabulary

  • But it also serves to bring us finally to the vocabulary of Esmond.

  • But the shock to her feelings had loosed the good woman's vocabulary.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • It was curious how the sense of evil had limited each one's vocabulary.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • Chance is a word which ought to be banished from the Christian vocabulary.

  • For every man there is something in the vocabulary that would stick to him like a second skin.


British Dictionary definitions for vocabulary

vocabulary

noun plural -laries
  1. a listing, either selective or exhaustive, containing the words and phrases of a language, with meanings or translations into another language; glossary
  2. the aggregate of words in the use or comprehension of a specified person, class, profession, etc
  3. all the words contained in a language
  4. a range or system of symbols, qualities, or techniques constituting a means of communication or expression, as any of the arts or craftsa wide vocabulary of textures and colours
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Word Origin for vocabulary

C16: from Medieval Latin vocābulārium, from vocābulārius concerning words, from Latin vocābulum vocable
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 vocabulary

n.

1530s, "list of words with explanations," from Medieval Latin vocabularium "a list of words," from Latin vocabulum "word, name, noun," from vocare "to name, call" (see voice (n.)). Meaning "range of language of a person or group" is first attested 1753.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper