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Chicago Citation Style, 17th Edition: Dictionary or Encyclopedia

A University of Lethbridge Library guide to Chicago Manual of Style citations.

Dictionary or Encyclopedia (14.232-14.234)

Example 1 – Well-known General Dictionary

N:         1. Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. "Saturnalia, n.," accessed November 7, 2017,


Example 2 – Well-known General Encyclopedia

N:         1. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online, Academic ed., s.v. “Arturo Toscanini,” accessed December 4, 2017,


Example 3 – Specialized Dictionary or Encyclopedia

N:         1. Rajesh Kumar, "Little Ice Age," in Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers, ed. Vijay P. Singh, Pratap Singh, and Umesh K. Haritashya (Springer, 2011),​/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-90-481-2642-2_333.

B:   Kumar, Rajesh. "Little Ice Age." In Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers, edited by Vijay P. Singh, Pratap
              Singh, and Umesh K. Haritashya. Springer, 2011.​


NOTE: Well-known general reference works are typically only cited in notes; they are not given a bibliography entry.

The distinction between general and specialized reference works is not always clear.  If a dictionary or encyclopedia focuses on a particular subject or topic, and if the entries within it are substantial and are authored by scholars whose names are provided, it is likely best to use the format shown in example 3 above.

If you are consulting a dictionary or encyclopedia in print, see the Manual, 14.232.