APA 6th Referencing Guide — Reference Books: Dictionary, Thesaurus or Encyclopedia

University of Huddersfield

APA Referencing Guide — Reference books: dictionary, thesaurus or encyclopedia

If citing the complete reference book in your text, please refer to Books, and choose the appropriate number of authors/ editors.

If the definition/ section cited has a specified author, use the instructions in Chapter/ section of an edited book.


  • If citing a definition or entry with no named author, use the instructions below.
  • If no specified author, the word or section name is listed first in the reference list.
  • If the online version refers to the print edition, include the edition number after the title.
  • We recommend using quality reference sources, such as Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford Reference online, Oxford (Grove) Music online, and Medicines Complete, all available via Summon.
Format and order
  • Word /section name. (followed by full stop)
  • (Year of publication). (in round brackets followed by full stop)
  • In
  • Author(s)/ editor(s) of book if applicable, (initials, with full stop after each initial, followed by family name, followed by comma)
  • Title of dictionary/ encyclopedia (in italics)
  • (ed, Vol., pp.) in brackets include all relevant
  • Place of publication: (followed by colon, if in print)
  • Publisher. (followed by full stop, if in print)
  • doi: (if there is a DOI)
  • Retrieved from URL (only include if there is no DOI)
In-text citation

… ("Romanticism", 2013).

According to the Sage dictionary of sociology, "Social mobility" is defined as… (2019, pp. 283 – 284).

Reference list

Romanticism. (2014). In World encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://www.oxfordreference.com

Social mobility. (2019). In S. Bruce, & S. Yearley, The Sage dictionary of sociology (3rd ed., pp. 283 – 284). London: Sage.

web page URL: /pages/referencing-dictionaryencyclopedia/
last updated: Thu 13/Aug/2020