How did Webster find the definitions of words he wrote in the dictionary?
Webster’s Dictionary – the most popular dictionary in America. But who was Webster and how did he write an entire dictionary? Noah Webster Jr., whom the modern dictionary is named after, was a famous lexicographer – someone who keeps lists of words and definitions. He published several books that helped millions of Americans learn to spell.
In 1807, Webster began compiling a comprehensive dictionary. It took him 26 years to complete! He learned over two dozen languages (28, to be exact) to better evaluate the etymology (origins and construction) of words. The dictionary contained 70,000 words, nearly two percent of which had never before appeared in a dictionary.
After Webster passed, George and Charles Merriam, who had founded the book-selling company G&C Merriam Co., bought the rights to Webster’s dictionary. The publishing company Merriam-Webster, Inc. was formed.
Americans owe the consistency and modernization of the English language to Noah Webster Jr. and his dedication.