A glossary, also known as an idioticon, vocabulary, or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms. Traditionally, a glossary appears at the end of a book and includes terms within that book which are either newly introduced, uncommon or specialized.

A bilingual glossary is a list of terms in one language which are defined in a second language or glossed by synonyms (or at least near-synonyms) in another language.

In a general sense, a glossary contains explanations of concepts relevant to a certain field of study or action. In this sense, the term is related to the notion of ontology. Automatic methods have been also provided that transform a glossary into an ontology[1] or a computational lexicon.[2]

Core glossary

A core glossary is a simple glossary or defining dictionary which enables definition of other concepts, especially for newcomers to a language or field of study. It contains a small working vocabulary and definitions for important or frequently encountered concepts, usually including idioms or metaphors useful in a culture. In computer science, a core glossary is a prerequisite to a core ontology. An example of this is seen in SUMO.

Searching glossaries on the web

The search engine Google provided a service to only search web pages belonging to a glossary therefore providing access to a kind of compound glossary of glossary entries found on the web.[3][4]

Automatic extraction of glossaries

Computational approaches to the automated extraction of glossaries from corpora[5] or the Web[6][7] have been developed in the recent years. These methods typically start from domain terminology and extract one or more glosses for each term of interest. Glosses can then be analyzed to extract hypernyms of the defined term and other lexical and semantic relations.

See also


  1. ^ R. Navigli, P. Velardi. From Glossaries to Ontologies: Extracting Semantic Structure from Textual Definitions, Ontology Learning and Population: Bridging the Gap between Text and Knowledge (P. Buitelaar and P. Cimiano, Eds.), Series information for Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, IOS Press, 2008, pp. 71-87.
  2. ^ R. Navigli. Using Cycles and Quasi-Cycles to Disambiguate Dictionary Glosses, Proc. of 12th Conference of the European Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL 2009), Athens, Greece, March 30-April 3rd, 2009, pp. 594-602.
  3. ^ Google's Gaggle of New Goodies. Chris Sherman. Search Engine Watch. 22 May, 2002.
  4. ^ Google calls in the 'language police'. Jonathan Duffy. BBC News. 20 June, 2003.
  5. ^ J. Klavans and S. Muresan. Evaluation of the Definder System for Fully Automatic Glossary Construction. In Proc. of American Medical Informatics Association Symp., 2001, pp. 324–328.
  6. ^ A. Fujii, T. Ishikawa. Utilizing the World Wide Web as an Encyclopedia: Extracting Term Descriptions from Semi-Structured Texts. In Proc. 38th Ann. Meeting Assoc. for Computational Linguistics, 2000, pp. 488–495.
  7. ^ P. Velardi, R. Navigli, P. D'Amadio. Mining the Web to Create Specialized Glossaries, IEEE Intelligent Systems, 23(5), IEEE Press, 2008, pp. 18-25.

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  • Glossary — Glos sa*ry, n.; pl. {Gossaries}. [L. glossarium, fr. glossa: cf. F. glossaire. See 3d {Gloss}.] A collection of glosses or explanations of words and passages of a work or author; a partial dictionary of a work, an author, a dialect, art, or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • glossary — late 14c., from L. glossarium collection of glosses, from Gk. glossarion, dim. of glossa obsolete or foreign word (see GLOSS (Cf. gloss) (n.2)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • glossary — [n] word list dictionary, lexicon, vocabulary, word index; concept 280 …   New thesaurus

  • glossary — ► NOUN (pl. glossaries) ▪ an alphabetical list of words relating to a specific subject, text, or dialect, with explanations. ORIGIN Latin glossarium, from glossa explanation of a difficult word …   English terms dictionary

  • glossary — [glôs′ə rē, gläs′ə rə] n. pl. glossaries [ME glosarie < L glossarium < glossa: see GLOSS2] a list of difficult, technical, or foreign terms with definitions or translations, as for some particular author, field of knowledge, etc., often… …   English World dictionary

  • glossary — UK [ˈɡlɒsərɪ] / US [ˈɡlɔsərɪ] noun [countable] Word forms glossary : singular glossary plural glossaries a list of the difficult words used in a piece of writing or subject, with explanations of their meaning …   English dictionary

  • glossary — See dictionary. See dictionary, glossary, thesaurus …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • glossary — [[t]glɒ̱səri, AM glɔ͟ːs [/t]] glossaries N COUNT A glossary of special, unusual, or technical words or expressions is an alphabetical list of them giving their meanings, for example at the end of a book on a particular subject …   English dictionary

  • Glossary of terms for fuel cell power systems — (JIS C 8800) is a Japanese fuel cell standard published by the Japanese Standards Association (JSA) [ [ english.asp Japanese Standards Association] ] [ [ Fuel cell… …   Wikipedia

  • Glossary of rail terminology — Rail transport Operations Track Maintenance High speed Gauge Stations …   Wikipedia

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