- dictionary (n.)
- 1520s, from Medieval Latin dictionarium "collection of words and phrases," from Latin dictionarius "of words," from dictio "word" (see diction). Probably first English use in title of a book was in Sir Thomas Elyot's "Latin Dictionary" (1538) though Latin Dictionarius was so used from early 13c. Grose's 1788 "Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue" has "RICHARD SNARY. A dictionary."
DICTIONARY, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work. [Bierce]