Dictionary Quotes

Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas: I wish, however, that the instrument might be less apt to decay, and that signs might be permanent, like the things they denote.

If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?

Lexicographer: n.s. A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge, that busies himself in tracing the original, and detailing the signification of words.

I misplaced my dictionary. Now I’m at a loss for words.

Its most important claim on our attentnion is that Johnson’s [dictionary] is the only English dictionary that can be called a great work of literature. Most reference books are interesting only as long as they’re current; Johnson remains fascinating long after his definitions have been superseded.

Sometimes you can’t look up the correct spelling of a word in the dictionary because you don’t know how to spell it.

A great memory is never made synonymous with wisdom, any more than a dictionary would be called a treatise.

“Just the man I was looking for,” said a voice at Winston’s back. He turned round. It was his friend Syme, who worked in the Research Department… Syme was a philologist, a specialist in Newspeak. Indeed, he was one of the enormous team of experts now engaged in compiling the Eleventh Edition of the Newspeak […]

Susurrus, according to her grandmother’s dictionary, it meant “a low soft sound, as of whispering or muttering.” Tiffany liked the “taste” of the word. It made her think of mysterious people in long cloaks whispering important secrets behind a door: “susurruss-susurusss” She’d read the dictionary all the way through. No one told her you weren’t […]

My mouth’s no dictionary; it only serves as the needful interpreter of my heart.