A printed dictionary is typically found in one volume that contains tens of thousands of words and brief definitions, whereas a printed set of encyclopedias contains multiple volumes and in-depth explanations of words and concepts. A dictionary is more commonly used to verify the meaning of a word. An encyclopedia is used to gain a deeper understanding of that word.Continue Reading
Encyclopedias contain more general knowledge than dictionaries. A dictionary is very specific regarding the pronunciation, origin and use of a word, while an encyclopedia explains to readers why that word is important. A person who reads a page from an encyclopedia may see a total of one or two entries on that page, while a person reading a page in a dictionary may see dozens of entries.
A dictionary features thousands of words, while an encyclopedia includes fewer total entries, with the focus being on explaining a word. An example of this is found with the word "platypus." Looking up the word "platypus" in the dictionary yields a few sentences that explain what a platypus is. Looking up the same word in an encyclopedia results in several paragraphs that provide details, such as where the animals live, how they reproduce and what they eat.Learn more about Reference Books