Ever wonder who writes dictionaries? They're called lexicographers. A lexicographer studies words and compiles the results into a dictionary.

This is one of several words for a certain type of writer or editor. Just as a playwright writes plays and a poet writes poems, a lexicographer puts together dictionaries. Lexicographer come up with definitions, determines parts of speech, gives pronunciations, and sometimes provides example sentences. Lexicographer need to do a lot of research to make sure they're defining a word correctly; dictionaries are books that people need to trust. If you love words, you might enjoy being a lexicographer.

Definitions of lexicographer

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

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Nathaniel Bailey
English lexicographer who was the first to treat etymology consistently; his work was used as a reference by Samuel Johnson (died in 1742)
Sir William Alexander Craigie
English lexicographer who was a joint editor of the Oxford English Dictionary (1872-1966)
John Florio
English lexicographer remembered for his Italian and English dictionary (1553-1625)
Henry Watson Fowler
English lexicographer who wrote a well-known book on English usage (1858-1933)
Samuel Johnson
English writer and lexicographer (1709-1784)
Pierre Athanase Larousse
French lexicographer (1817-1875)
Maximilien Paul Emile Littre
French lexicographer (1801-1881)
Sir James Augustus Henry Murray
Scottish philologist and the lexicographer who shaped the Oxford English Dictionary (1837-1915)
Noah Webster
United States lexicographer (1758-1843)
Joseph Emerson Worcester
United States lexicographer who was accused of plagiarism by Noah Webster (1784-1865)
a lexicographer who specializes in etymology
a lexicographer of new words and expressions
a student of synonyms
Type of:
a person who compiles information (as for reference purposes)
linguist, linguistic scientist
a specialist in linguistics

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