Academic Dictionary of Lithuanian

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Academic Dictionary of Lithuanian, consisting of 20 volumes

Academic Dictionary of Lithuanian (Lithuanian: Didysis lietuvių kalbos žodynas or Akademinis lietuvių kalbos žodynas) is the complete thesaurus of the Lithuanian language and is one of the most extensive lexicographical pieces in the world.

It contains more than half a million Lithuanian headwords, and is 20 volumes (22 thousand pages) long. Most words have an explanation of their usage, origins and area of usage with examples. The Dictionary contains words collected from all written forms, since the first Lithuanian published book in 1547 until 2001.


The idea of the Dictionary belongs to Lithuanian philologist Kazimieras Būga. He started collecting material for the dictionary in 1902 and had over 617,000 cards with words, part of them from Antanas Juška dictionary. The first part of the dictionary was printed in 1924, the complete first volume in 1941 (letters A-B) under supervision of Juozas Balčikonis. The second volume appeared in 1947, and together with the first it was banned and hidden by the Soviet authorities because of ideological reasons. These volumes are now bibliographical rarities. The first and second volumes had to be republished later. Work continued as the third volume was published in 1956, although it was difficult under the Soviet regime; some words (especially religious) were forced to be omitted. The loss was restored after Lithuania regained independence and ideological barriers were removed.

The work on the dictionary took more than six decades by many generations of linguists. It was finished in 2005, and an online version has appeared.

The dictionary is available printed, on CD-ROM and online.

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