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Learn How to Cite a Dictionary

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If you explore online, you might come across the question ‘how to cite a dictionary in APA style.’ Well, if you have been wondering about the same, you have come to the right place. In this blog, you will get to knowhow to cite a dictionary in APA, Chicago, and much more.

Read on to get an insight.

How to Cite a Dictionary in APA?

If you want to know how to cite a dictionary in MLA, you have to abide by the rules mentioned here. You have to start with the name of the author of the dictionary. This is usually the name of the organization. Following this, you have to insert the publication year, and the word you want to cite in your paper. Next, you mention the name of the dictionary, and the publisher (in case it is not listed as the author), and the URL.

The concept will become clearer if you read the following two sections. You will get to see the format along with the examples.  

How to Cite an Online Dictionary Entry in APA?

Since online dictionaries are constantly updated, you won’t find a fixed publication date. In this case, replace the year with “n.d.” (no date) and add a retrieval date. If you wish to know how to cite an online dictionary entry in APA, you can take a look at the example stated below.

Cambridge-Dictionary. (n.d.), Relinquish. In dictionary. Retrieved September 2, 2020, from

How to Cite a Print Dictionary in APA?

In this section, you will get to know how to cite a print dictionary in APA.The format stated here is based on APA 7 guidelines. Here you have to use a specific edition with a publication date. Thus, you must make sure that the information appears in your citation. You must not forget to list the publisher a second time if you have already listed in the author position.

Mentioned below is the format.

The name of the publisher. (Year). Entry name. In Dictionary name (Edition, p., Page number).

In the reference list, you can write:

EricMillan. (2020). Despondent. In Millan English dictionary (7th ed., p. 675)

In-text citation would be:

(EricMillan, 2020)

How to Cite a Dictionary in MLA?

Now that you know how to cite a dictionary in APA, you should also take a look at the other referencing styles. Here, you will get to know how to cite a dictionary in MLA. In this regard, we will consider the MLA (8th edition).

The template is mentioned below.

The last name of the author, first name of the author. “The Title of the Entry.” Title of the Dictionary, Update or Publication Date, URL. Accessed Date

An example would look like this:

Oxford English Dictionary “Disposition” Oxford English Dictionary, n.d., Accessed 25 Jul. 2019

However, this is what you have to include in the reference list or the Works Cited. If you use an in-text citation, you just have to mention the name of the publisher. As per the example cited above, you just have to write Oxford English Dictionary in the bracket.

Hopefully, you can cite further dictionary entries as per MLA conventions.

How to Cite a Dictionary in Chicago?

In this section, we will take a look at how to cite a dictionary entry in Chicago. 

In the footnote, the format would be:

Title of the Dictionary, ed. First name, Surname (if available), number edition. (Location: Publisher, Year of publication) s.v. “Title of Entry,” URL

Let us check out an example

Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), s.v. “spirituality.”

As far as the bibliography is concerned, you don’t have to list the dictionary twice unless you have used it more than two times. The format of the bibliography would be:

Title of the Dictionary, ed. number edition. Location: Publisher, Year of publication. URL

An example would look like

Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018

By this time, you should have an idea how to cite a dictionary in text. You should pore through various examples so that you have no doubt regarding the citation of a dictionary entry.

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Hi, I am Ethan, a nerd by nature, a data scientist by profession and, a gadget lover at heart. Thanks for stopping by and sparing a few minutes to know me. I would like to let you know, apart from being a Maths lover and a tech freak I have a fetish for English writing. I am into everything that spells maths, technology, and essays. I have an experience of 10 years as a data scientist and that of 5 years as a freelance English essay writer at I like sharing my experiences with people, which further makes me an occasional blogger. 

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