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It is the fate of those who toil at the lower employments of life…
to be exposed to censure without hope of praise…
Among these unhappy mortals is the writer of dictionaries…
Every other author may aspire to praise;
the lexicographer can only hope to escape reproach.

—Samuel Johnson (Dictionary of the English language, 1755)

Lexicography is the art and science of making dictionaries.

  • Practical lexicography refers to the practice of designing and authoring dictionaries.
  • Theoretical lexicography refers to the scholarly discipline of developing theories of dictionary-making, sometimes referred to as metalexicography, which describes and prescribes how lexicography proceeds.

An informal Introduction to Lexicography video