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Oct
16
Fun Holiday – Dictionary Day

Dictionary Day is on October 16. The unofficial holiday celebrates the birth anniversary of American lexicographer, Noah Webster.

Close up of the word knowledge in the dictionary.
Learn a few new words to celebrate Dictionary Day.
©iStockphoto.com/firebrandphotography

Born on October 16, 1758, Webster is best known for publishing An American Dictionary of the English Language, the precursor of the now famous and widely used Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Reference Book

A dictionary is a reference book that lists words in a language and provides the meaning, origin and pronunciation of each listed word. The book also informs users on how to use a word in different circumstances.

Semasiological, of Course

Dictionaries are semasiological. Semasiology is the branch of linguistics that deals with the definition of words and phrases in a language. This is different from onomasiology, which deals with what things and concepts are called. A thesuarus is an onomasiological reference book because it provides users the different terms that can be used to express a specific idea.

How to Celebrate?

  • Pick up a dictionary and try to learn the meanings of at least 5 new words.
  • Learn more about the history and science behind publishing dictionaries.

Did You Know...

...that pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is the longest word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary? At 45 letters, the word refers to a lung disease.

Dictionary Day Observances

Fun Holiday: Dictionary Day Observances
YearWeekdayDateName
2018TueOct 16Dictionary Day
2019WedOct 16Dictionary Day
2020FriOct 16Dictionary Day
2021SatOct 16Dictionary Day
2022SunOct 16Dictionary Day
2023MonOct 16Dictionary Day
2024WedOct 16Dictionary Day
2025ThuOct 16Dictionary Day
2026FriOct 16Dictionary Day
2027SatOct 16Dictionary Day

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