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Citing Alternate Formats - Chicago Style: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Grove

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Grove

Article in Reference Book / Encyclopedia

Well-known reference books, such as major dictionaries and encyclopedias (e.g. Encyclopaedia Britannica),  are normally cited only in notes and not in bibliographies. (See example 1 below.)

Other lesser-known encyclopedias and dictionaries should include publication details in both notes and a bibliography. (See example 2 below)

Authored entries may be cited using individual entries by author, similar to contributions to a multi-author book, and should also be included in a bibliography. (See examples 3 and 4 in chart below)

In a physical edition , the edition number (if not the first) and the date the volume or set was issued must be specified.

References to an alphabetically arranged work cite the item (not the volume or page number) after the abbreviation s.v. (s.v. = sub verbo and refers to the specific entry in the dictionary or encyclopedia)

[14.232 - 14.234]




Well known

Title of Reference Work, xth ed.. (Year of Publication), s.v. "search term."   
Lesser known Title of Reference Work, Editor/Compiler First-Name Last-Name (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), s.v. "search term."
Authored entries Author First-Name Last-Name, "Title of Article," in Title of Reference Work, ed. Editor First-Name Last Name, ed. #, vol. # (Place of Publication: Publisher, Year), page number/s.
  OR see examples below
Entries without an author

Well-known dictionaries and encyclopedias, print

Note: 1. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed. (1980), s.v. “salvation.”
  Lesser-known reference works, print
Note: 2. Cassell's Italian Dictionary: Italian-English, English-Italian, comp. Piero Rebora (New York: Macmillan, 1967), s.v. "rappiccare."
Authored entries including Grove
  Grove Dictionary, print
Note and
Subsequent note 

3. Edward Strickland, "Glass, Philip, " in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, eds. Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell, 2nd ed., vol. 9 (London: Macmillan, 2001), 933.

4. Strickland, "Glass, Philip," 933.

  Encyclopedia with titled volume, print

5. Angela Impey, "Popular Music in Africa," in The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, ed. Ruth Stone, vol. 1, Africa (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998), 419-21.

 Consulted online
  Grove Music Online (Oxford Music Online)
Note and

6. Charles Bodman Rae, "Lutosławski, Witold," in Grove Music Online, ed. Deane Root, accessed February 27, 2018,

7. Bodman Rae, "Lutosławski, Witold," n.p.

  Authored entry, accessed online
Note: 8. Theodore Gracyk, "The Aesthetics of Popular Music," in Internet Encyclopdia of Philosphy: A Peer-Reviewed Academic Resource, eds. James Fieser and Bradley Dowden, accessed February 27, 2018,
  Well-known, accessed online
Note: 9. Merriam-Webster, s.v. “muse,” accessed February 1, 2018,
  Lesser-known, accessed online

10. OnMusic Dictionary, eds. Richard Cole and Ed Schwartz, s.v. "humoresque," last updated June 1, 2016, 16:45,


Well known Commonly used dictionaries and encyclopedias not cited in bibliographies - see comments at top of page.
Lesser known Title of Reference Work, Edited / Compiled by First-Name Last-Name. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.
Authored entries Author Last-Name, First-Name. "TItle of Article." In Title of Reference Work. Edited by Editor First-Name Last-Name. Edition #. Vol. #. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.
  OR see examples below
Entries without an author
  Lesser-known, print
Bib: Cassell's Italian Dictionary: Italian-English, English-Italian. Compiled by Piero Rebora. New York: Macmillan, 1967.
Authored entries
  Grove, etc., print
Bib: Strickland, Edward. "Glass, Philip." In The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.  Edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. 2nd ed. Vol. 9. London: Macmillan, 2001. 932-36.
Consulted online
  Grove Music Online (Oxford Music Online)
BIb: Rae, Charles Bodman. "Lutoslawski, Witold." In Grove Music Online, edited by Deane Root. Article published online, 2001.
  No author, online

OnMusic Dictionary. Edited by Richard Cole and Ed Schwartz. Connect for Education, Inc.