from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who writes, compiles, or edits a dictionary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. one who writes or compiles a dictionary

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The author or compiler of a lexicon or dictionary.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A compiler of a lexicon or dictionary; one employed in the making of a vocabulary or wordbook of a language, and giving definitions, with or without other explanatory matter, in the same or another language.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a compiler or writer of a dictionary; a student of the lexical component of language


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

lexicography +‎ -er


  • We now know that the duty of the lexicographer is to record and not to criticize, that refined speech and elegant speech are the delusions of a mistaken optimism, and that the only people who now speak English with any approach to historical correctness are the few surviving agricultural laborers who are old enough to have escaped the devastating effects of the Elementary Education Act. Johnson's Dictionary went far to accomplish, in the eighteenth century, what the Italian and French Academies had unsuccessfully attempted in the seventeenth.

    On Dictionaries

  • If you know the word lexicographer, there’s a better-than-even chance you also know Samuel Johnson’s self-mocking definition of it: “a writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.”

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Guestblogging Dictionary Myths (Pt 4):

  • In the golden prime and high noon of English speech; when from the lips of the great Elizabethans fell words that made their own meaning and carried it in their very sound; when a Shakespeare and a Bacon were possible, and the language now rapidly perishing at one end and slowly renewed at the other was in vigorous growth and hardy preservation -- sweeter than honey and stronger than a lion -- the lexicographer was a person unknown, the dictionary a creation which his Creator had not created him to create.

    INTERNET WIRETAP: The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce (1993 Edition)

  • Jesting at himself he defined 'lexicographer' as 'a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge. '

    A History of English Literature

  • For example, he defined "lexicographer" as "a writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge."

    Capitol Hill Blue - The oldest political news site on the Internet

  • If Dr Samuel Johnson were given the chance to join the web 2.0 generation and post a video definition of his favourite word on the internet, he may have chosen "lexicographer".

    Telegraph Blogs

  • (believed to be some kind of lexicographer), when, in an article published that day, he uttered the fateful words: "Aleotoric music."

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol IX No 3

  • For example, when the great lexicographer H.W. Fowler was 57, he lied about his age so that he could take part in World War 1.

    Information is always everywhere

  • Bryan Garner, the lawyer and lexicographer who wrote the excellent A Dictionary of Modern American Usage, believes that increased literacy is the only cure for apostrophe misuse.

    Apostrophes in business names and place names

  • As well as being as great lexicographer, Murray was a polymath whose keen interests included astronomy, botany, archaeology, mathematics and geology.

    No discernible circumference


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The full definition from Samuel Johnson's Dictionary (1755)

    "lexicographer: A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words."

    October 9, 2015

  • "Every other authour may aspire to praise; the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach." - Samuel Johnson

    February 21, 2011

  • Defined by Samuel Johnson (in his 1755 A Dictionary of the English Language) as "A writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge," according to WikiQuote.

    October 4, 2007