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- noun archaic The circle or compass of the arts and sciences (originally, of the seven so-called liberal arts and sciences); circle of human knowledge.
- noun archaic An
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun a reference work (often in several volumes) containing articles on various topics (often arranged in alphabetical order) dealing with the entire range of human knowledge or with some particular specialty
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As Robert Douglas-Fairhurst notes in the superb introduction to this volume of selections, "London Labour and the London Poor" was "originally advertised as a 'cyclopaedia' of street life, implying that the finished work would be a compendium of facts for dipping into rather than a book to be read from cover to cover, and it certainly lived up to its billing.
Guy's pocket cyclopaedia: Or Miscellany of useful knowledge, from the best authorities: designed for senior scholars in schools, by Joseph Guy
I examined the books they possessed, and found a small work on medicine, a small cyclopaedia, and a Portuguese dictionary, in which the definition of a “priest” seemed strange to a Protestant, namely,
The former was a sort of cyclopaedia to him, which he supposed to contain an abstract of human knowledge, as indeed it does to a considerable extent.
He had read vastly; his memory was a literary cyclopaedia.
The work of Celsus of the end of the first century B.C. is a Latin treatise, probably translated from Greek, and is the surviving medical volume of a complete cyclopaedia of knowledge.
The Legacy of Greece Essays By: Gilbert Murray, W. R. Inge, J. Burnet, Sir T. L. Heath, D'arcy W. Thompson, Charles Singer, R. W. Livingston, A. Toynbee, A. E. Zimmern, Percy Gardner, Sir Reginald Blomfield
For the time being I lived in a world of facts and figures, breathing nothing but dates and exuding mathematical and other data at almost every pore; so that, by the end of the month I felt myself transformed into a sort of portable human cyclopaedia, containing a heterogeneous mass of information of all kinds, as superficial as it was varied.
Sometimes, too, a public-spirited citizen, when advised of the lack of a good cyclopaedia, or of the latest extensive dictionary, or collective biography, in the library, will be happy to supply it, thereby winning the gratitude and good will of all who frequent the library.
Or he would become a successful politician, which was easier than all, for nothing was needed in this career but strong lungs and a cyclopaedia.
The sharp Bohemian, by playing at all trades, brushing against gentry of all sorts and scouring all neighborhoods, becomes at length a living cyclopaedia.