- A comprehensive reference work with articles on a range of topics. Some encyclopedias are intended to convey general knowledge, while others focus on one discipline, subject, nationality or ethnicity. Since the 18th century, they have always been arranged in some systematic order, usually alphabetical. Encyclopedias may span several volumes (if printed), and contain illustrations, maps and statistics.
Etymology: From encyclopídia < Ancient Greek (polytonic, á ) (enkyklios paideia) < (polytonic, á) (enkyklios) "circular, rounded, round" < (polytonic, ) (kyklos) "circle" + (polytonic, ) (paideia) "the rearing of a child", or "education", from (polytonic, ) (paidion) "child".
- Dutch: encyclopedie(nl)m
- French: encyclopédie(fr)f
- German: Enzyklopí¤die(de)f
- Italian: enciclopedia(it)f
- Spanish: enciclopedia(es)f
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