Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Electronic Dictionary

  • Robert A. AmslerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_809


eDictionary; Machine-readable dictionary (MRD); Terminological database


An electronic dictionary contains lexicographic information that is stored and accessed via a computer. The term “electronic dictionary” may refer to the data alone (e.g., a machine-readable dictionary), but more typically refers to a software or software/hardware system that provides access to dictionary data. Although a dictionary may include encyclopedic entries, it is typically distinct from an electronic encyclopedia. Terminological databases are special-purpose dictionaries that are used primarily to distinguish domain-specific terminology and choose appropriate terms when translating technical documents. Thesauri are special-purpose word books organized by relationships between words. They may contain definitions, but most famously, Roget’s Thesaurus (available in electronic form from Project Gutenberg) does not.

Historical Background

The first widely available electronic data from print...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Amsler RA. Machine-readable dictionaries, Chapter 6. In: Williams ME, editor. Annual review of information science and technology (ARIST). vol. 19. Knowledge Industry Publications; 1984.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Amsler RA. The Structure of the Merriam-Webster Pocket Dictionary [Ph.D. dissertation]. Austin: The University of Texas at Austin; 1980.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Byrd RJ, Calzolari N, Chodorow MS, Klavans JL, Neff MS, Rizk OA. Tools and methods for computational lexicology. Comput Linguist. 1987;13(3–4):219–40.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fellbaum C. WordNet: an electronic lexical database. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; 1998.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Sérasset G. Recent trends of electronic dictionary research and development in Europe. In: Technical Memorandum, the Japan Electronic Dictionary Research Institute, LTD. Tokyo; 1993. p. 93.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    TEI Consortium. Dictionaries. TEI P5: Guidelines for Electronic Text Encoding and Interchange. Available online at: http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/html/DI.html. Accessed 21 Feb 2008.
  7. 7.
    Weiner ESC. Computerizing the Oxford English dictionary. J Sch Publ. 1985;16(3):239–53.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CSCFalls ChurchUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Frank Tompa
    • 1
  1. 1.David R. Cheriton School of Computer ScienceUniv. of WaterlooWaterlooCanada