How to Cite a Dictionary in Harvard Referencing
  • 3-minute read
  • 8th May 2023

How to Cite a Dictionary in Harvard Referencing

If you come across a source from a dictionary and want to use it in your research, make sure you cite it correctly, both in the text and on the reference page. In this post, we’ll show you how to cite a dictionary using basic Harvard referencing, one of the most common university referencing styles.

How to Cite a Dictionary on a Reference Page

As with any citation, you’ll need to provide all the basic source information on your reference page, whether you’re citing a print or an online dictionary:

●  Author’s name

●  Year of publication

●  Title of the dictionary entry

●  Title of the dictionary

●  Edition number

●  Place of publication (for print dictionaries)

●  Publisher (for print dictionaries)

●  URL (for online dictionaries)

Please see below for examples of each format.

Print Version

Author, X. (year). “Title of dictionary entry,” Title of Dictionary, edition number. Place of Publication: Publisher.

Online Version

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Author, X. (year). “Title of dictionary entry,” Title of Dictionary, edition number [Online]. Available at: URL (Access date).

The following are examples of what each one might look like on your reference page.

Print Version

Smith, E. (2023). “Symposium,” Oxford English Reference Dictionary, 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Online Version:

Smith, E. (2023). “Symposium,” Oxford English Reference Dictionary, 4th ed. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed May 25, 2023).

How to Cite a Dictionary in the Text

You can use a parenthetical or a narrative citation to reference a dictionary entry in the body of your essay. A narrative citation mentions the author’s name in a sentence and immediately follows the name with the year of publication in parentheses.

A parenthetical citation provides the surname of the author and the year of publication in parentheses immediately following the sentence. A narrative citation looks like this:

Smith (2023) defines symposium as…

And a parenthetical citation will look like this:

In this context, a symposium is defined as “a meeting at which experts have discussions about a particular subject” (Smith, 2023).

Be sure to follow the Harvard guidelines for citing multiple authors. For in-text citations, the names of up to two authors are included. For three or more authors, you should shorten the citation using the abbreviation “et al.”:

(Smith and Rogers, 2023) or Smith and Rogers (2023)

(Smith et al., 2023) or Smith et al. (2023)

Expert Academic Proofreading

When conducting research for an essay, cover all your bases and make sure your citations hit the mark. When you send you paper to our expert editors, include your academic reference list and in-text citations so you can rest assured that they meet all the required guidelines.

We’re experienced in an array of referencing styles, so no matter what field you’re studying, we’ll make sure the structure and format of your citations are correct. See for yourself – try out our proofreading services by sending us a free sample of 500 words or less.

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