What's the difference between the two? Is dictionary mostly applied to written or printed forms and vocabulary to others (like "someone's active vocabulary")?
- Anybody can ask a question
- Anybody can answer
- The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
They are two different things.
The dictionary is a book (or series of books) that lists all words in alphabetical order with pronunciation, definitions, classifications (noun, verb, adjective) and if it's bilingual (E.G. English-[other language]) it gives the translation.
The vocabulary is not an object, it's that collection of words used in a given language. It can also indicate the amount of words known by a certain person (E.G. John has such a wide vocabulary!).
EDIT: I wrote that lexicon is a synonym of vocabulary, and it is, but Rhodri made me notice that it's also a synonym of dictionary. So I investigated a bit and, as I was suspecting, it has a restricted use, which is still right though... From the OED:
'Dictionary' refers directly to a book compiling words and their meanings. Examples are The Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster and Collins English Dictionary.
'Vocabulary' refers to the list of words within a particular language or that an individual has in their command.
Hope that helps.
A dictionary is a book with the definitions of words in it. Vocabulary is an intangible concept referring to a set of words. It could be a person's vocabulary meaning all the words they know, the vocabulary of a profession, or the words relevant to a lesson in a textbook