Definition of lexicon in English:



  • 1The vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge.

    ‘the size of the English lexicon’
    • ‘About 135 km into the day, I learnt another valuable definition in the lexicon of cycling language.’
    • ‘The first route involves direct connections between a written word and its location in the orthographic lexicon.’
    • ‘Respondents in both groups typically viewed their personal lexicon as containing less than 40,000 words, and the size of their active vocabulary as no more than 20,000 words.’
    • ‘The term entered the political lexicon as a word synonymous with corruption and scandal, yet the Watergate Hotel is one of Washington's plushest hotels.’
    • ‘These iconographies dictate the semantics of his copper extracts and moderate to become the lexicon of his visual language.’
    • ‘This theory represents a written word in the mental lexicon as a network of semantic, orthographic, and phonological features.’
    • ‘The terms represent both old and new in the modern lexicon of Cockney rhyming slang.’
    • ‘Morgan argues that forcing organization theory into lexicons, literal language and precise formulations is a retrograde step.’
    • ‘William Gibson couldn't have guessed how the word he invented would breed and infect the lexicon.’
    • ‘These approaches have quite different origins in artificial intelligence and linguistics, and involve corpus input, lexicons and knowledge bases in quite different ways.’
    • ‘It seems from the neologistic lexicon that most branches of medicine can now have a telecoms component, from teleradiology and telepathology to telenursing and telepsychiatry.’
    • ‘I'm learning a whole new vocabulary, a secret lexicon known only to amputees and prosthetists.’
    • ‘For example, she was instrumental in creating and validating a standardized descriptive language - flavor lexicons - for cheddar cheese flavor.’
    • ‘Into the dustbin with them went a whole lexicon of language.’
    • ‘Your lexicon was the modern language of Scottish business, not the old Labour view of by-gone coalmines and steelworks.’
    • ‘His living lexicon of the English language, coupled with his incredible intellect, made life electric for those around him.’
    • ‘Critically, Morton and Patterson assumed distinct orthographic and phonological lexicons that contain no conceptual knowledge.’
    • ‘Calling Potter a writer undermines a great deal of the depth and dynamics he brought to the lexicon of language.’
    • ‘We conclude that sophisticated numerical competence can be present in the absence of a well-developed lexicon of number words.’
    • ‘After years of exaggerating the snow-vocabulary of arctic peoples, suddenly journalists everywhere are obsessed with the allegedly gaping holes in northland lexicons.’
    word stock, lexis
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    1. 1.1A dictionary, especially of Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, or Arabic.
      ‘a Greek–Latin lexicon’
      • ‘The celebrated Brown, Driver and Briggs Hebrew lexicon presents the two roots as follows.’
      • ‘They would just never consider looking it up in a dictionary or a lexicon.’
      • ‘That of course is where Greek lexicons like those referenced to above are helpful.’
      • ‘It is just as easy to access dictionaries, concordances and lexicons, the program having simultaneously located all references to your passage in the books included in your search.’
      • ‘In addition the German missionaries also produced Tulu lexicon and Tulu-English dictionary.’
      • ‘So Ross, despite a demonstrable ignorance of even the most basic Hebrew and an inability to use Hebrew lexicons correctly, discovers amazing insights, thanks to ‘science’.’
      • ‘The publication of French dictionaries and lexicons by Enlightenment scholars further eroded regionalisms.’
      • ‘Before you do anything else, unpack the language lexicon and speech database.’
      • ‘Funding will support fieldwork and other activities relevant to recording, documenting, and archiving endangered languages, including the preparation of lexicons, grammars, text samples, and databases.’
      dictionary, wordbook, vocabulary list, glossary, wordfinder
      reference book, phrase book, concordance, thesaurus, encyclopedia
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Early 17th century: modern Latin, from Greek lexikon (biblion) (book) of words, from lexis word, from legein speak.