Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Vocabulary'
- a listing of the words used in some enterprise
- a language user's knowledge of words [syn: lexicon, mental lexicon}]
- the system of techniques or symbols serving as a means of expression (as in arts or crafts); "he introduced a wide vocabulary of techniques"
- Vocabulary \Vo*cab"u*la*ry\, n.; pl. Vocabularies. [LL.
vocabularium, vocabularius: cf. F. vocabulaire. See
- A list or collection of words arranged in alphabetical order and explained; a dictionary or lexicon, either of a whole language, a single work or author, a branch of science, or the like; a word-book.
- A sum or stock of words employed. His vocabulary seems to have been no larger than was necessary for the transaction of business. --Macaulay.
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Vocabulary'
A person's vocabulary is the set of words within a language that are familiar to that person. A vocabulary usually grows and evolves with age, and serves as a useful and fundamental tool for communication and acquiring knowledge. Acquiring an extensive vocabulary is one of the largest challenges in learning a second language.
A vocabulary is commonly defined as "all the words known and used by a particular person". Unfortunately, this definition does not take into account a range of issues involved in knowing a word.
The first major distinction that must be made when evaluating word knowledge is whether the knowledge is productive (also called active) or receptive (also called passive) and even within those opposing categories, there is often times no clear distinction. Words that are generally understood when heard or read or seen constitute a person's receptive vocabulary. These words may range from well-known to barely known (see degree of knowledge below). In most cases, a person's receptive vocabulary is the larger of the two. For example, although a young child may not yet be able to speak, write, or sign, he or she may be able to follow simple commands and appear to understand a good portion of the language to which he or she is exposed. In this case, the child's receptive vocabulary is likely tens, if not hundreds of words but his or her active vocabulary is zero. When that child learns to speak or sign, however, the child's active vocabulary begins to increase. Productive vocabulary, therefore, generally refers to words which can be produced within an appropriate context and match the intended meaning of the speaker or signer. As with receptive vocabulary, however, there are many degrees at which a particular word may be considered part of an active vocabulary. Knowing how to pronounce, sign, or write a word does not necessarily mean that the word has been used correctly or accurately reflect the intended message of the utterance, but it does reflect a minimal amount of productive knowledge.[See more about Vocabulary at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]
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