A dictionary is a collection of words in one or more languages, often in alphabetical order (or radical and running for ideographic languages ​​by), which may include information on definitions, use, etymologies, phonetics, Pronunciation, translation, etc. Or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, sometimes known as a lexicon. It is a lexicographic product that shows the relationships between the data.
A broad distinction between general and specialized dictionaries is made. Dictionaries include words in specialized areas, rather than a full range of words in the language. Lexical articles describing concepts in specific fields are usually called terms instead of words, although there is no consensus if lexicology and terminology are two fields of study. In theory, it is supposed that the general dictionaries are semasiológicos, tracing the definition of the word, then it is supposed that the dictionaries are onomasiológicos, first to identify the concepts, then to define the terms used to describe them. In practice, both approaches are used for both types. There are other types of dictionaries that do not fit perfectly in the distinction above, such as bilingual dictionaries (translation), thesaurus (thesaurus) and rhyming dictionaries. Dictionary words (unqualified) is generally understood to refer to a monolingual dictionary for general purposes.
There is also a contrast between normative and descriptive dictionaries; First, they reflect what is considered a correct use of the language, while the latter reflects the actual use recorded. Stylistic references (eg “informal” or “vulgar”) in many modern dictionaries are also considered by some to be less objectively descriptive.
Although the first recorded dictionaries date from the Sumerian period (these were bilingual dictionaries), the systematic study of dictionaries as objects of scientific interest is a twentieth century undertaking, called lexicography, and initiated in large part By Ladislav Zgusta. The birth of the new discipline has not been without controversy, sometimes accused by others of “surprising” lack of method and critical self-reflection.