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vocabulary

[voh-kab-yuh-ler-ee] /voʊˈkæb yəˌlɛr i/
noun, plural vocabularies.
1.
the stock of words used by or known to a particular people or group of persons:
His French vocabulary is rather limited. The scientific vocabulary is constantly growing.
2.
a list or collection of the words or phrases of a language, technical field, etc., usually arranged in alphabetical order and defined:
Study the vocabulary in the fourth chapter.
3.
the words of a language.
4.
any collection of signs or symbols constituting a means or system of nonverbal communication:
vocabulary of a computer.
5.
any more or less specific group of forms characteristic of an artist, a style of art, architecture, or the like.
Origin
1525-1535
1525-35; < Medieval Latin vocābulārium, noun use of neuter of vocābulārius of words, equivalent to Latin vocābul(um) vocable + -ārius -ary
Related forms
vocabularied, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for vocabularies

vocabulary

/vəˈkæbjʊlərɪ/
noun (pl) -laries
1.
a listing, either selective or exhaustive, containing the words and phrases of a language, with meanings or translations into another language; glossary
2.
the aggregate of words in the use or comprehension of a specified person, class, profession, etc
3.
all the words contained in a language
4.
a range or system of symbols, qualities, or techniques constituting a means of communication or expression, as any of the arts or crafts: a wide vocabulary of textures and colours
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin vocābulārium, from vocābulārius concerning words, from Latin vocābulumvocable
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for vocabularies

vocabulary

n.

1530s, "list of words with explanations," from Medieval Latin vocabularium "a list of words," from Latin vocabulum "word, name, noun," from vocare "to name, call" (see voice (n.)). Meaning "range of language of a person or group" is first attested 1753.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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