The Use of the Dictionary

A dictionary is a reference book that presents a collection of words from a language in alphabetical order, providing explanations of their meanings or offering equivalent words in a foreign language, such as a French-English dictionary.   The typical structure of a standard dictionary includes the following components: Word Entry: This section displays the word […]

A dictionary is a reference book that presents a collection of words from a language in alphabetical order, providing explanations of their meanings or offering equivalent words in a foreign language, such as a French-English dictionary.

 

The typical structure of a standard dictionary includes the following components:

  1. Word Entry: This section displays the word to be defined, breaking it down into syllables for clarity, as exemplified by “dic-tion-ary.”

 

  1. Transcription: The word is phonetically transcribed using symbols to indicate its pronunciation, as demonstrated by “dictionary / dikʃƏnri/.” Stress is denoted by a mark near the top of the symbol for primary stress and at the bottom for secondary stress, such as / dikʃƏnri/.

 

  1. Word Class: The dictionary notes the word class, like “different /difƏrenʃI/ noun, adjective,” indicating whether the word can function as a noun or an adjective.

 

The dictionary also utilizes numbering (e.g., 1, 2, 3) to represent different levels of meaning associated with a word. For instance, the word “difficult” can mean:

  1. Not easy
  2. Full of problems
  3. (People) not easy to please

 

Additionally, the dictionary may specify the regional variation of English (e.g., British English, North American English, or New Zealand English) alongside a word.

 

Other information used to elucidate a word includes:

 

  1. Pl: Plural
  2. C: Countable
  3. U: Uncountable
  4. Syn: Synonym
  5. Ant: Antonym
  6. Idm: Idiom
  7. Fig: Figurative language
  8. Tech: Technical usage
  9. Opp: Opposite
  10. PHRV: Phrasal verb
  11. Sth: Something

Related Posts:

Prepositional Phrase

Article Writing

Prefixes

Active and Passive Voices

Speech Work: Stress Patterns

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