Definition of catalog in English:


(also catalogue)


  • 1A complete list of items, typically one in alphabetical or other systematic order, in particular.

    • ‘The catalogue offered profiles of some social justice NGOs from around the world who had been using Interdoc in the 1980s.’
    • ‘This list of the guilty implicated in the events at Pitelinskii district offered a virtual catalogue of recognizable and acceptable enemies of the Soviet state.’
    catalogue, inventory, record, register, roll, file, index, directory, listing, listicle, checklist, tally, docket, ticket, enumeration, table, tabulation
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    1. 1.1A list of all the books or resources in a library.
      • ‘The IPAC allows library customers to browse the book catalogue, to reserve items online and to view their personal accounts.’
      • ‘We are hoping to set up a consortium of institute libraries with a standardised catalogue and a strong policy on resource sharing.’
      • ‘A catalogue of its library survives from 1372, listing 646 items.’
      • ‘Library card catalogs are a well-established type of metadata, and they have served as collection management and resource discovery tools for decades.’
      • ‘A limited amount of downloadable material is provided and the library catalogue, including video and audio material, can be viewed online.’
      • ‘Imagine going to a library catalogue and not only getting the books but web pages also.’
      • ‘We have put our library catalog online, and now we are investing in a new collections information management strategy.’
      • ‘The rambling website of the Royal Institute of British Architects is good in parts, especially its library catalogue.’
      • ‘At that point, more than 400 library catalogs were accessible on the Internet.’
      • ‘The system would have to support cross database searching, allowing the user to search online catalogs of library and archive collections, Web resources, and the CDP union catalog.’
      • ‘Shortly thereafter, libraries began offering Web-based resources such as online catalogs and article databases.’
      • ‘She explained what kinds of searches would work well in the library catalog, or various licensed databases, or in Internet searching.’
      • ‘Library users can now also access the library catalogue and renew their books on line.’
      • ‘Specimen data in the museums are often maintained in a form of catalogs similar to bibliographic catalogues in the libraries.’
      • ‘As well as the new computerised book-issue system, library users will be able to access the library services catalogue of more than 500,000 books and other items.’
      • ‘But, when I clicked on to their library catalogues, I found little boxes instead of roman script.’
      • ‘They didn't know how to search the library catalogue, they didn't know what a Dewey Decimal number was.’
      • ‘Over a century ago, Charles Cutter established a methodology for creating library catalogs called Rules for a Dictionary Catalog.’
      • ‘I have done my best to trace the publishing history through the catalogue of the British Library, which should in theory have a copy of every book ever published in the UK.’
      • ‘I enjoy connecting people with stories and ideas, first in bookstores, now through library catalogs and supporting local storytellers and authors.’
    2. 1.2A publication containing details and often photographs of items for sale, especially one produced by a mail-order company.
      • ‘Americans buy one-third of their bulbs, based on value of sales, through mail-order catalogues.’
      • ‘Purchase wood veneer at craft stores and through woodworking mail-order catalogs.’
      • ‘Consumers are quite at home with the concept of mail order from a catalogue, or telephone ordering in response to a home shopping advertisement.’
      • ‘Most of these good-looking, solid and sculptural vanity units are not cheap, although the high street and mail-order catalogues are catching up with the trend.’
      • ‘It was founded in 1990 as a mail-order catalog, the sales from which still account for part of its $3 million in revenues.’
      • ‘She once spent an entire morning poring over a mail-order catalogue.’
      • ‘The Seattle venture has expanded to include two New York City stores, a mail-order catalog, and a Web site.’
      • ‘Provided it is safe to do so, pictures will be taken of the sheep for sale and a catalogue produced for display both on the internet and via the post.’
      • ‘If you don't have favorite mail-order catalogues delivered already, you can send away for them from advertisements found in your favorite garden magazines.’
      • ‘She is now looking to produce a catalogue and boost the mail order side of her business.’
      • ‘Henna powder can be found at Indian grocery stores, on the Internet, and in mail-order catalogs.’
      • ‘More shopping will also be done from the home, with consumers turning to the Internet, mail-order catalogs and even party-based and other direct-selling businesses.’
      • ‘As the twentieth century wore on, railroads and mail-order catalogs supplanted the country stores.’
      • ‘If you buy something from a brick and mortar store, or even from their mail-order catalog, you usually don't run into any serious problems.’
      • ‘Hyacinths are available wherever flower bulbs are sold, including garden centers, home centers, supermarkets and mail-order catalogues.’
      • ‘You'll find the greatest selection of daylilies in the catalogs of mail-order specialists.’
      • ‘With so many fun new choices and tried-and-true favorites to choose from, gardeners this fall should find excitement in mail-order bulb catalogues and garden center aisles.’
      • ‘Whether you order from the catalogues or not, it's sheer pleasure to look at the colourful photographs and a good place to pick up ideas for the garden.’
      • ‘In any case, poor roads and the restrictions of travel by horse meant that farmers had few options but to shop at nearby towns, although they could always purchase some goods through the mail-order catalogues.’
      • ‘Perennials are widely available from both local nurseries and garden centers and a burgeoning number of mail-order catalogs.’
      brochure, prospectus, guide, magalogue, mailer
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    3. 1.3A descriptive list of works of art in an exhibition or collection giving detailed comments and explanations.
      • ‘The catalogue will be on sale at the gallery during the exhibition and in bookstores after it closes.’
      • ‘A total of eight Orkney chairs featured in the sale catalogue, and exceeded their estimates, according to Bonham organisers.’
      • ‘Both are catalogues accompanying major exhibitions of Minimalism and Geometric Abstraction in the postwar period.’
      • ‘In keeping with this belief, he never left details such as the design of exhibition announcements and catalogues to the graphic designers usually hired by galleries and museums.’
      • ‘Several contributors to the exhibition's catalogue commented on the swing in art-world attention.’
      • ‘Several exhibition catalogues have broken new ground in Japanese art studies by focusing on modernism or the transnational aspects of Japanese artistic practice.’
      • ‘Exhibitions and their catalogues are collaborative efforts that are notoriously difficult to control, with impossible deadlines and conflicting demands.’
      • ‘They include exhibition catalogues, works on art theory and works on individual artists.’
      • ‘The catalogue that accompanies the exhibition takes up the political questions hinted at in the show more directly.’
      • ‘The catalogues for each exhibition make significant contributions to existing scholarship.’
      • ‘An excerpt from the undated letter was published after her death in the catalogue of the memorial exhibition of her collection.’
      • ‘The full colour catalogue with its detailed and informative text is a bonus though it is a pity that priced at R150.00, it is beyond the means of much of the local market.’
      • ‘A dandy, a wit, an inveterate controversialist, he conducted a series of campaigns against the public and critics in the form of pamphlets, annotated exhibition catalogues, and letters to the press.’
      • ‘Exhibition catalogues are now the chief way in which new academic research is published for a wide audience.’
      • ‘This collection is the catalogue of an exhibition held at Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Toronto, Victoria and Winnipeg.’
      • ‘Even with a detailed accompanying catalogue, it is difficult to comprehend the complicated workings of the apparatus, but that hardly seems to matter.’
      • ‘Both the catalogue and the exhibition are highly recommended to all lovers of drawings.’
      • ‘He writes in the exhibition catalogue that the works are attempts to recapture early memories.’
      • ‘The catalogue of the exhibition recorded that in its first decade the museum had held 112 exhibitions attended by about one-and-a-half million people.’
      • ‘All three of his gifts of collections have been accompanied by exhibitions and exhibition catalogues that Fred, working alongside curators and our publisher, has helped to research and fund.’
      directory, register, index, list, listing, record, archive, inventory, roll, table, calendar, classification, roster
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    4. 1.4US A list of courses offered by a university or college.
      • ‘The course catalog listed the class as Osteoporosis Risk Reduction.’
      • ‘Counselors and college catalogues tell you the main story, but not all the alternatives.’
      • ‘In other business, the senate approved changes to the next university catalog.’
      • ‘Everything from departmental memos to the college catalog was posted on the school Web page.’
      • ‘Inter-institutional courses increase a university's catalog of course offerings and each participating institution collects their own tuition.’
      • ‘In the late 1960s, the phrase started making its way into law school course catalogues.’
      • ‘Parents were given copies of the college catalog and asked to spend a few minutes looking through it and making observations.’
      • ‘The exit test requirement was added to the catalog course descriptions for the three courses.’
      • ‘I will return to this point in the conclusion, but it is important to underline that rhetoric courses can not be easily categorized even in course catalogues.’
      • ‘Both course catalogs and class schedules were obtained from each college in the sample.’
      • ‘He accessed a mission statement for each institution from the general information, college catalogues, or accreditation information posted on each college's Web site.’
      • ‘This process involved the sharing of catalogs, course descriptions and, ultimately, conversations between faculty members at both campuses.’
      • ‘I just started college, and every course in the catalogue looks exciting.’
      • ‘Before taking the job or even applying for it, I spent a morning at the school looking at the lab, browsing through the college catalog and talking to the students.’
      • ‘Check their catalogs to see if they offer Greek studies.’
      • ‘Slightly over one half said they read college brochures or catalogs, and one in four said they visited college websites.’
      • ‘The course summaries in my university's catalog, the themes of the lecture series, and the editorial content of the student newspapers suggest that many students and faculty would agree.’
      • ‘Almost all universities have Web sites; many put descriptive material, course catalogs, application information, and more on the Internet.’
      • ‘The class was offered through the university's catalog for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.’
      • ‘The mission of the college is stated as follows in its course catalogue and faculty handbook.’
    5. 1.5[in singular]A series of unfortunate or bad things.
      ‘his life was a catalog of dismal failures’
      • ‘There was just a series, a catalogue of disasters, culminating in the Hollywood cameraman's French sophisticated camera, falling over on the spot.’
      • ‘My catalogue of unpleasant happenings continued.’


  • 1 Make a systematic list of (items of the same type)

    • ‘In 1997 all trees more than four metres high were catalogued with their botanical name, their common name, their country of origin and other information.’
    • ‘Only now, four years after the opening of the university's fine new library building, are these collections at last being catalogued, cleaned, and put in good order.’
    • ‘All audit observations should be coded by type and significance, and all audits catalogued by scope and quality, over a three-year period.’
    • ‘This dramatically reduces the number of parts that must be catalogued, stored, and sent to the assembly line for installation.’
    • ‘The report cataloguing the gruesome tally was classified secret.’
    • ‘The BBC is reporting that Hubble has catalogued over 100 new planets.’
    • ‘One file catalogues the names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers, heights and weights of over four thousand cardiology patients, along with each medical procedure they underwent.’
    • ‘The collection has not been catalogued, although archival and conservation steps have been taken.’
    • ‘A movie buff, Johnson owns 8,000 films, all of which are catalogued and indexed in six file cabinets in his house.’
    • ‘Prior to the purchase of the Szenics collection, approximately 525 specimens from Chile were catalogued in the Harvard mineral collection.’
    • ‘It distressed us to be cataloguing the last mortal remains of so many species that are on the verge of extinction, or have gone forever.’
    • ‘Owen was soon to become an assistant in cataloging the Hunterian Collection of thirteen thousand human and animal anatomical specimens, which had been purchased by the Crown after the death of its owner, the famous surgeon John Hunter.’
    • ‘Many smallish historical societies have valuable collections that have never been cataloged and many of their records are fast deteriorating.’
    • ‘In the second phase, some 60,000 cards that form core of the collection will be catalogued and made available online.’
    • ‘Michael inherited the collection from his late father and the Penny Postcards as they were then called are completely catalogued.’
    • ‘To be a positive historical asset, an object must be placed in the context of a museum collection, an archive, a library, or some other specially formed collection with cataloging, identification, and retrieval systems.’
    • ‘Before that can be done well, I think, the archives of Pius XII's pontificate will probably have to be fully catalogued and opened.’
    • ‘From the early Renaissance on, they had been admired and drawn by painters and sculptors and carefully described and cataloged by art enthusiasts and antiquarians.’
    • ‘Most objects in space have been catalogued, numbered and named, but one type of mysterious object has yet to be classified - and they are known simply as ‘blobs’.’
    • ‘The contents of the coat, which had lain undisturbed for approximately eight months, are currently in the process of being catalogued and analyzed, but early reports already have the scientific community buzzing.’
    • ‘A project is being planned to systematically catalogue and annotate all human protein sequences, with reference to the sequenced genome.’
    classify, categorize, systematize, systemize, index, list, archive, make an inventory of, inventory, record, register, file, log, enumerate, alphabetize, itemize, pigeonhole, tabulate
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    1. 1.1Enter (an item) in a systematic list.
      ‘the picture was withdrawn before being cataloged’
      • ‘A record 40 juvenile colts and geldings purchased from sales from around the world have been cataloged for the event that will be conducted by Keeneland Association.’
      • ‘A total of 198 yearlings have been cataloged for the three sessions of the auction, which produced record results last year.’
    2. 1.2List (similar situations, qualities, or events) in succession.
      ‘the report catalogs dangerous work practices in the company’
      • ‘In this way, he is a documentarian-poet, cataloguing the trials of his tribe with a sense of humour, irony, and sincerity.’
      • ‘Studies conducted over the years catalogue many of its effects.’
      • ‘The officer's strengths and weaknesses in terms of aptitude for senior assignments should be cataloged; specific, positive accomplishments should be included.’
      • ‘The speech catalogues a series of charges against Philip of Spain, which a contemporary audience would no doubt have recognised, if not with reference to specific incidents, then as a more general confirmation of their suspicions.’
      • ‘In organizations, investigations are commissioned to catalogue an individual's failures and misdemeanours.’
      • ‘The film catalogs his other failures as teacher, father, provider, writer, and now dreamer.’
      • ‘In their last visit before the struggling school was reopened, inspectors catalogued a series of shortcomings, including poor planning, poor teaching and poor control by staff.’
      • ‘Then there is the memorable, which must be catalogued and archived.’
      • ‘The authority has also recently published its own best value performance plan to catalogue this year's achievements and detail its plans for the future.’
      • ‘Bill Brandt was born in 1904 and is seen as one of the most successful photographers in cataloguing the changes in the landscape and society of Great Britain in the last century.’
      • ‘Somebody should have catalogued his increasingly belligerent rhetoric, compared and contrasted his statements to prior formulations, and laid out one or more plausible explanations for the change.’
      • ‘One of the authors of the report said that by cataloguing the deaths his team hoped to quantify the casualties that were missed or ignored in official reports.’
      • ‘All I have done in this piece is, while cataloguing some of the achievements, point out that in total they do not add up to what was promised in the original prospectus.’
      • ‘This is far from being a work of mere trainspotting; in fact, in a strange way, it catalogues the architectural, social and economic history of modern Britain.’
      • ‘This kind of tacit knowledge system does not attempt to capture and catalog the specific ‘knowledge’ that an individual might have.’
      • ‘The report catalogued the increase of both kinds of appointments, the exploitation of faculty in such positions, and the accelerating negative effects of these practices on higher education.’
      • ‘Moreover, their works catalogue some of the social processes in Europe over the past century.’
      • ‘Why on Earth do they feel the need to catalogue every moment of their trip?’


Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin catalogus, from Greek katalogos, from katalegein pick out or enroll.