Use Dictionaries and Encyclopedias to:
- Get an overview of your topic or issue
- Learn the definitions of terms and concepts
- Identify keywords to use in searching for additional information
- Dictionaries, general or subject encyclopedias, handbooks, etc. are sometimes called "Reference" books.
Frequently-Used Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
- Encyclopaedia Britannica Online - Academic Edition
Concise, scholarly articles on a wide range of subjects.
- Oxford English Dictionary (OED)
Covers words from across the English-speaking world with etymological analysis, lists of variant spellings and shows pronunciation.
Search Dictionaries and Encyclopedias
- Reference Universe
Use Reference Universe to search for specific entries in reference books. If the reference book isn't available online, you'll be directed to MNCAT to find the book in the Libraries.
- Gale Virtual Reference Library
Search across multiple reference sources in many subjects, including art, biography, business, cultural studies, education, the environment, history, religion, science, and social science.
- Oxford Reference Online
Search over 100 language and subject dictionaries and reference works.
Find More Dictionaries
- Use MNCAT and search for a general subject (e.g. physics or music) and the word dictionary in the search box OR
- Browse a list of online dictionaries from the University Libraries.