encyclopedia

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See also: encyclopaedia

English

The National Scientific Publishers encyclopedia (Polish)

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Latin encyclopaedia, from Ancient Greek ἐγκύκλιος παιδεία (enkuklios paideia, the circle of arts and sciences, curriculum), from ἐγκύκλιος (enkuklios, circular, rounded, round), from κύκλος (kuklos, circle) + παιδεία (paideia, the rearing of a child, education), from παιδίον (paidion, child).

Pronunciation

  • (Canada) IPA(key): /ənˌsəɪ.kləˈpi.diə/
  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ɪnˌsaɪ.kləˈpi(ː).diə/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːdiə
  • Hyphenation: en‧cy‧clo‧pe‧dia

Noun

encyclopedia (plural encyclopedias or encyclopediae or encyclopediæ)

  1. A comprehensive reference work (often spanning several printed volumes) with in-depth articles (usually arranged in alphabetical order, or sometimes arranged by category) on a range of subjects, sometimes general, sometimes limited to a particular field.
    I only use the library for the encyclopedia, as we’ve got most other books here.
    His life's work was a four-volume encyclopedia of aviation topics.
  2. (dated) The circle of arts and sciences; a comprehensive summary of knowledge, or of a branch of knowledge.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

Usage notes

The spelling encyclopedia is standard in American English, preferred in Canadian English, accepted in Australian and International English, and also very common in British English. It is more common than encyclopaedia, for example, in UK newspapers on Google News in 2009 by a 7:3 margin.

Derived terms

Related terms

See also

Translations