legal dictionary

Law dictionary

A law dictionary is a dictionary that is designed and compiled to give information about terms used in the field of law.

A distinction is made between different types of law dictionaries. A monolingual law dictionary covers one language, a bilingual covers two.

A distinction may also be made as to its coverage. A law dictionary that covers an entire field of law is called a single-field dictionary, where as a dictionary that covers a part of a field of law is called a sub-field dictionary, e.g. a dictionary of contract law. If the law dictionary attempts to cover all the terms in the field of law, it is called a maximizing dictionary, and if it attempts to cover only a limited number of terms, it is called a minimizing dictionary.

A good bilingual law dictionary needs to take the users' expected language and professional competences into account. The lexicographers therefore need to consider the following aspects: dictionary user research, dictionary typology, structure and presentation of the relevant information. When making a law dictionary, the lexicographers attempt to present the information in such a way that the user is not burdened with excessive lexicographic information costs.

Unlike a law dictionary, which arranges and defines legal words and phrases individually and in alphabetical order, a legal terminology textbook arranges and defines legal words and phrases in groups and by topic. As a result, a student or other person interested in understanding an array of related legal words and phrases may prefer to use a legal terminology textbook instead.

External links

Major Law Dictionaries

  • Black's Law Dictionary (8th ed.). ISBN 0-314-15199-0.
  • Sandro Nielsen: The Bilingual LSP Dictionary. Principles and Practice for Legal Language. Gunter Narr Verlag 1994.
  • Dean's Law Dictionary - created by artificial intelligence with over 185,000 terms and 300,000 case cites.

Downloadable Law Dictionaries

Online Law Dictionaries

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