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What are some abbreviations used in a dictionary?

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Quick Answer

Abbreviations found in dictionaries include parts of speech, such as adverb, adv; noun, n; adjective, adj; and verb, v or vb. Certain subjects are also abbreviated in dictionaries, including agriculture, agric; anatomy, anat; music, mus; philosophy, philos; and science, sci. Places are also abbreviated in dictionaries, including Africa, Afr; Dominican Republic, Dom Rep; Italy, Ital; United States, US; and Venezuela, Ven.

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Full Answer

In addition to general abbreviations, dictionaries also abbreviate certain types of labels, such as languages, backgrounds, style or registry. Some of the language and background abbreviations include Arabic, Ar; Croatian, Croat; Modern English, ModE; Pennsylvania German, PaG; and Spanish, Span or Sp. Registry abbreviations can cover legal or business terms, including incorporated, incorp; manufacture, mfr; manufacturer, manuf; district, dist; and trademark, tm. Geographical and atmospheric abbreviations are found in dictionaries, as well as encyclopedias and atlases, and include altitude, alt; eastern or east, e; Fahrenheit, Fahr; latitude, lat; and population, pop.

Some dictionaries, known as learner's dictionaries, include punctuation, grammatical and symbolic abbreviations and aides not found in typical dictionaries. Audio pronunciations of words are available through Merriam Webster's Learner's Dictionary online at learnersdictionary.com. This dictionary is user-friendly to ESL, or English as a Second Language students, and also uses symbols, including tildes, parentheses, arrows and equal signs, to indicate abbreviation, pronunciation and usage.

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