Alphabetical Order

Are dictionaries always in Alphabetical Order?

Not all languages have alphabets: some, such as Chinese, use logograms (characters) and others use syllables as their basic units—for example Japanese (in one of its systems). But for the languages that do have alphabets, in the modern age dictionaries tend to be in alphabetical order—partly because that’s what we mean by a
dictionary. If it were arranged by subject, we’d probably call it a thesaurus.

In seventeenth-century English dictionaries things were more haphazard with words alphabetized by first letter only. This can be found into the twentieth century in some glossaries. But for most dictionaries we can safely assume the answer is

Related Links:

Is there An Official Committee which regulates the English language?
Do you include words used on the Internet?
Are Lexicographers good spellers?
Are Dictionaries really necessary?
Are dictionaries always in Alphabetical Order?
What is a Dictionary?

What are the Oxford Dictionary?
Are other languages recorded in huge Multi-Volume Dictionaries?
Do Dictionary-Makers ever make mistakes?
What is the chronology of events relevant to the history of the OED?
How can I access Dictionary Online?

How do you decide What To Include in a dictionary?
How do you decide If a New Word should go in an Oxford Dictionary?
Will the Dictionary-Makers put MY NEW WORD into their dictionaries?
How will be a Dictionary In 2050?
How has Computer Technology affected dictionary-making?

How do you know what a word means?
Dictionaries have changed over the years. How?
When will the Third Edition of the OED be published?
What skills and talents does a Lexicographer need?
How will The Revision affect the size of the OED?

Frequently Asked Questions Index

From Alphabetical Order to HOME PAGE

privacy policy