APA 6th Edition Dictionary Citation – Format & Examples

12.12.22 Examples Time to read: 3min

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One of the first rules of academic writing is that you must cite your sources correctly in order to assign proper credit to the original author and avoid plagiarism. The 6th edition APA style guide provides specific rules for all types of sources. One of the most commonly used sources in academic research papers is dictionary entries. This article will explain how you can format your citation according to the APA 6th edition dictionary citation manual.

APA 6th Edition Dictionary Citation – In a Nutshell

  • According to the APA 6th edition dictionary citation manual, the format for sources includes the word you want to cite, the publication year, the dictionary name, and the publisher or URL (in this order).
  • If there is no publication year, you can write n.d (no date).
  • This article will guide you through how to cite sources for a dictionary in online format, printed format, and as in-text references.

Definition: APA 6th edition dictionary citation

The APA 6th edition dictionary citation manual provides a simple format for citing this type of source. As mentioned above, it should include the word you want to cite, the publication year, the dictionary name, and the publisher/URL. You can replace the publisher date with “n.d” if there is no publication date.

Example

Format: Entry name. (year). In Dictionary Name (edition). Place: Publisher or Retrieved from URL
Reference list: Academic. (n.d). In Oxford Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.oxforddictionary.com/dictionary/documentation
In-text citation: (“Academic,” n.d.)

The format above also applies to encyclopedia entries. However, encyclopedia entries usually list authors.

Example

Reference: Kimberly, K. (n.d.). Coincidence. In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/education/coincidence
In-text citation: (Kimberly, n.d.)

6th edition dictionary citation: Online

Online dictionaries, like encyclopedias, are usually prone to changes and continuous updates. Therefore, you should not include a specific publication date when citing them. Instead, indicate “n.d.” in the place of the publication year.

Example

Acoustic. (n.d.). In Oxford Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.oxford.com/dictionary/acoustic

Some specialist dictionaries and encyclopedias usually include the names of their authors. When citing such sources, you can add the author’s name in the normal position. Furthermore, when the online reference features a specific edition, you should include it in the citation. Finally, do not forget to add the publication date.

Example

Bailon, A. (2017). Animalism. In K.B. Malta (Ed.), The Britannica Encyclopedia of Flaura and Fauna (Summer 2017 ed.). Retrieved from https://malta.britannica.edu/archives/sum2017/entries/animalism

APA 6th edition dictionary citation: In print

When citing print dictionaries, you must always include the specific edition with the publication date.

Example

Concoction. (2022). In The Global Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford, England: Oxford College Press.

A few print dictionaries usually list authors, especially specialist dictionaries. In such cases, the author’s name should come at the beginning of the citation.

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APA 6th edition dictionary citation: In-text

If the source does not have an author and date, the in-text citation should feature the entry title in quotation marks and “n.d.” in place of the missing date. On the other hand, if the author and the date are available, you can apply the standard APA in-text citation format (author and date).

Example

(“behaviour,” n.d.)

(Bailon, 2011)

FAQs

According to the APA 6th edition dictionary citation manual, the standard format for citing dictionary sources includes the word you want to cite, the publication year, the dictionary name, and the publisher or URL.

The standard APA in-text citation format (author’s name, date) is applitaxile here. However, if the author and publication date is unknown, you can use the entry title (the word you want to cite) in quotations and write n.d.

According to the APA 6th edition dictionary citation manual, the formula for citing encyclopedia sources is the same as citing dictionary sources. However, since encyclopedias usually include the author’s name, you must include it at the beginning.

When citing print dictionaries, you must include a specific edition and the publication date in the citation.