c. 1600, "a dictionary, a word-book," from French lexicon or directly from Modern Latin lexicon, from Greek lexikon (biblion) "word (book)," from neuter of lexikos "pertaining to words," from lexis "a word, a phrase; reason; way of speech, diction, style," from legein "to say" (from PIE root *leg- (1) "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak (to 'pick out words')").
Especially of dictionaries of Greek, Syriac, Hebrew, or Arabic, because these typically were written in Latin, and in Modern Latin lexicon (not dictionarius) was the preferred name for a word-book. The modern sense of "vocabulary proper to some sphere of activity" (1640s) is a figurative extension.
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak" on the notion of "to gather words, to pick out words."
It forms all or part of: alexia; analects; analogous; analogue; analogy; anthology; apologetic; apologue; apology; catalogue; coil; colleague; collect; college; collegial; Decalogue; delegate; dialect; dialogue; diligence; doxology; dyslexia; eclectic; eclogue; elect; election; epilogue; hapax legomenon; homologous; horology; ideologue; idiolect; intelligence; lectern; lectio difficilior; lection; lector; lecture; leech (n.2) "physician;" legacy; legal; legate; legend; legible; legion; legislator; legitimate; lesson; lexicon; ligneous; ligni-; logarithm; logic; logistic; logo-; logogriph; logopoeia; Logos; -logue; -logy; loyal; monologue; neglect; neologism; philology; privilege; prolegomenon; prologue; relegate; sacrilege; select; syllogism; tautology; trilogy.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Greek legein "to say, tell, speak, declare; to count," originally, in Homer, "to pick out, select, collect, enumerate;" lexis "speech, diction;" logos "word, speech, thought, account;" Latin legere "to gather, choose, pluck; read," lignum "wood, firewood," literally "that which is gathered," legare "to depute, commission, charge," lex "law" (perhaps "collection of rules"); Albanian mb-ledh "to collect, harvest;" Gothic lisan "to collect, harvest," Lithuanian lesti "to pick, eat picking;" Hittite less-zi "to pick, gather."
"lack of access," 1745, from non- + access (n.). Especially in law, "impossibility of access for sexual intercourse," as when a husband is out of the country in military service or at sea longer than the time of gestation of a child. "[W]hen a husband could not, in the course of nature, by reason of his absence, have been the father of his wife's child, the child is a bastard" ["Wharton's Law Lexicon," London, 1883].