A dictionary is a collection of words, their nature and definitions. Each language has its own dictionary which provides information and definition of each word, phrase and term that is used in particular language.  In ancient age, most of the dictionaries were available in the form of books. But now, this the age of technology and most of the dictionaries are available in soft form.

The word ‘Dictionary’ originally came from the Latin word ‘dictionaries’ which means “a manual or book of words” that is used as helping book. A dictionary is most commonly used to see the definitions and meanings of word. A dictionary can also be used to check the spelling of words.  

A glossary can include lot of information about a word, its meanings, spellings, uses and functions. With proper use of dictionary, one can easily learn foreign language.

Lexicon is also helpful in communication because it helps in learning correct pronunciation. Everyone has limited knowledge about a second or foreign language. You can enhance your knowledge about language by the correct use of dictionary.

Steps to use dictionary

Everything is used by some proper method. Lexicon also has some steps; by following these steps we are able to find what we search.

Following steps play a vital role when we use phrasebook. 

Step 1: Find the word you want to look up

In this step, first of all you need to determine about what you are to look up. As we know, everything is organized in proper way; thesaurus is also organized in some order. It is organized in alphabetical order. So, it is important to know the first letter of the word which will help you to find it easily.

Step 2: Open the dictionary in alphabetical order

When you know about the word which you are searching, then, open the dictionary to the right letter by following alphabetical order. For example, if you looking for word that starts with ‘S’ then you skip all other sections of alphabet and search the word in ‘S’ section.

Step 3: Look the second and third letter of each word

You have used the first letter of the word to help you find the right section of the phrasebook, you want to use. Now need to narrow down the area in that section. Do this by looking at the second letter in the word you are trying to find.

For example, if you want to search for word ‘STAR’ , first of all you reach at the section which is devoted to ‘S’. Then search it in ‘S’ section with second letter ‘T’. And try it in same way to search for other letters until you find the exact word which you are searching for.

Step 4: Read the definition

When you finally arrive at the word that you want to look up in the lexicon; first of all, you see spelling of that word. If spellings are same; then, look at the information that is given for your word.

In thesaurus, symbols also known as phonemes are used to show how to say particular letter in a word. Phrasebook also has the facility to see how soft, hard and unique letters are denoted. Different words have different pronunciations which are mentioned in lexicon.

The phrasebook will give the definition of the word. You will also find synonyms and antonyms. You may also find etymology i.e., history of word, its origin, phrases or sentences that use the word properly.

Step 5: Find the best definition of the word

Since most words have more than one definition, you will need to find the best definition. Search and pick that definition which is relevant to you.

If the definition helps to explain the word you looked up; then, you have successfully learned how to use a phrasebook.

Proper use of dictionary will also help you in refining 21st century classroom skills as dictionary is still considered an authentic and reliable source of information.

Sub Editor: Areeba Bashir

Chief Editor: Prof Ajmal Dass Jaipal