AskDefine | Define lexicographer

Dictionary Definition

lexicographer n : a compiler or writer of a dictionary; a student of the lexical component of language [syn: lexicologist]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. One who writes or compiles a dictionary.
    • 1755 A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words. — Samuel Johnson, lexicographer, in his seminal dictionary
    • 1811 Pitt has furnish'd us a word or two / Which lexicographers declined to do. — Lord Byron, Hints from Horace
    • 1860 The best lexicographer may well be content if his productions are received by the world with cold esteem. — Lord Macaulay, Biographies contributed to the Encyclopædia Britannica
    • To the lexicographer, God is simply the word that comes next to go-cart - Samuel Butler

Translations

one who writes or compiles a dictionary
  • Croatian: leksikograf
  • Czech: lexikograf, slovníkář

Extensive Definition

A lexicographer is a person devoted to the study of lexicography, especially an author of a dictionary.
Samuel Johnson, himself a lexicographer, defined a lexicographer as "a writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words". However Jonathon Green, in Chasing the Sun: Dictionary-Makers and the Dictionaries They Made (1996) suggests that this was a piece of eighteenth century politeness, and that a clearer indication of Johnson's view is given a little later in the same text where he says "Though a linguist should pride himself to have all the tongues that Babel cleft the world into, yet if he had not . . . studied the lexicons, yet he were nothing so much to be esteemed a learned man as any yeoman competently wise in his mother dialect only".
lexicographer in Bulgarian: Лексикограф
lexicographer in Danish: Leksikograf
lexicographer in Norwegian Nynorsk: Leksikograf

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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