WORD LISTS

Dictionary Words: Lexicography Lingo

October 7, 2019
You already know that dictionaries contain oodles of words that describe everything in the universe. But did you ever think about all the words that are used to describe dictionaries? Here some of the terms used by dictionary writers and dictionary readers, like you!
antonym
Antonym is the antonym of synonym, below. The anti- prefix, from Greek meaning "against" or "opposite", sees frequent use in English. Words like "antimatter", "antigravity", and "antibiotics" all refer to things or properties in opposition to the root word.
Out of a wide range of antonyms available for notoriety — e.g., repute, distinction, celebrity, renown, eminence, to list a handful — any one of which would fit the context nicely.
connote
For another instance where a prefix makes the word, compare connote with denote below. "Con-" means "with", and "note" comes from Latin for "to mark", so an owl connotes wisdom because it bears that mark: it reminds you of the trait. Where connote refers to an indirect meaning or association — a connotation, to use the noun — denotes means "means".
The remarks, made an interview for a podcast interview, were seized upon by Chinese media because the word "pig" in China is used to connote stupidity and laziness.
definition
If something is definitive, then it is a perfect example of a given thing. A dictionary defines words, and also gives guidance on their pronunciation and usage (see below).
“You don’t get to change what the definition and terms are after people vote for it,” Grant said.
denote
Primarily a fashion term, “Normcore” combines “normal” and “hardcore” to denote people who are zealous about appearing ordinary.
diacritical
Any written language that uses accents above or below letters to show how they should be pronounced can be said to use diacritical marks. Taking this concept one step further, in Vietnamese diacritics (an alternate spelling) indicate the tone or pitch of a sound.
Linguists caution that the most accurate guides to pronunciation include diacritical marks.
entry
His entry on the Wall of Spies says:
etymology
Etymology deals with the origins of words. The Greek word "logos" means several things, including "word", "speech", and knowledge". English words such as "apology", "dialogue", "logic", and any branch of science or medicine ending in "-ology" (like your new friend etymology) all derive from this root word. Isn't etymology fun? Entomology is the study of insects, so be careful not to confuse the two!
Consider the etymology of the French travail and the Spanish trabajo, each a translation of the English noun “work”: their Latin root is trepaliare, “to torture, to inflict suffering or agony.”
meaning
And therein lies the greater, more profound meaning of decoration, which occupies the foreground of this extraordinary show.
pronunciation
Several people in the audience corrected his pronunciation.
sense
Sense can mean many things, but in this case we're talking about another version of meaning or connotation. When you sense something, you perceive or become aware of it. The sense in which a word is used refers to its context and the way you are meant to understand it.
Area and in a sense was seeding the habitat for kids who will soon follow in his boot steps.
synonym
English is a Germanic language, but it contains many contributions from Greek, Latin, Romance languages (meaning descended from Latin, like French and Spanish), and elsewhere. As a result — and as you can see from many of the examples in this list — we're lucky as English-speakers to have many words with which to express the same or similar things: synonyms. As writers, a large vocabulary allows us to express any idea, no matter how nuanced.
For family delicacy, Dad coined two synonyms for going to the bathroom in the woods.
usage
As is often the case with Trump, his word usage both amplifies ideas ambient in the culture and takes advantage of gaps in the language.

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