Is there an adjective for the word "dictionary"?

For example, the adjective for "book" is "bibliographical"; and "literature", "literary".

A bibliophile may give you a literary definition; a logophile may give you a [dictionary] definition.

I know "dictionary" on its own can fit, but I would like to find an actual adjective.

The closest word I can think of is one that I have made up: "dictionarial".

Update: I've had a quick look on OED, and it seems "dictionarial" does seem to be a word. I'm still a bit uncomfortable about it, however. Is it a well-recognised word?

  • Maybe sanctioned, canonical, official, etc.
    – Dan Bron
    Oct 5, 2015 at 22:09
  • 5
    Perhaps "lexical" (relating to words or vocabulary) or "encyclopedic" (relating to all branches of knowledge). Also "terminological".
    – Graffito
    Oct 5, 2015 at 22:11
  • @Graffito I like your suggestion of "lexical". I might use that if I can't get an adjective for "dictionary".
    – Dog Lover
    Oct 5, 2015 at 22:21
  • grammar? A grammatician may give you a dictionary. Oct 6, 2015 at 2:45
  • Dictionary definition is such a set phrase that, really, I think you're only doing yourself a disservice by eschewing it in favour of an obscure adjective. Dictionarial would of course be readily understood, but it ain't pretty. Oct 6, 2015 at 5:03

2 Answers 2


Would lexicographical work?

Oxford Dictionaries Online has a few examples.

  • +1 I took the liberty of creating a link to the Oxford Dictionaries Online page.
    – Tragicomic
    Oct 6, 2015 at 7:24

The only adjectival use which the OED quotes is from 1598:

1596 T. Nashe Haue with you to Saffron-Walden sig. N4 v, To so Dictionarie a custome it was grown with him, that..he would extempore in that kinde of verse runne vppon mens hearts and womens hearts all the night long.

But interestingly, and perhaps infuriatingly its antithesis has a clear adjectival form, namely dictionaryless - listed in the OED.

  • Sorry, could you please bold where the adjectival usage is? I'm not sure if it's just me, but the OED can look a bit messy.
    – Dog Lover
    Oct 5, 2015 at 22:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.