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a walking dictionary

A person who has a very large vocabulary or knows the definition of many words and who can recite them when asked. You should ask my brother what it means—he's a walking dictionary! Compared to most sixteen-year-olds, Sarah is a walking dictionary. She must read a lot in her spare time.
See also: dictionary, walking

a walking encyclopedia

A person who has a very large and detailed knowledge of a diverse array of facts and who can recite them when asked. Lily's like a walking encyclopedia when it comes to reptiles.

walking encyclopedia

A very knowledgeable person, as in Ask Rob-he's a walking encyclopedia of military history. A similar expression, a walking dictionary, was used by George Chapman in his poem "Tears of Peace" (c. 1600).

a walking dictionary

or

a walking encyclopedia

If you describe someone as a walking dictionary or a walking encyclopedia, you mean that they know a lot of words or facts. She raised five of us on her own and she's a walking dictionary. He was a walking encyclopedia of music, full of wit and charm. Note: People sometimes use other words instead of dictionary or encyclopedia. He's a walking database on anything relating to insurance.
See also: dictionary, walking

a walking ˈdictionary, encycloˈpedia, etc.

(informal) used to describe a human or living example of the thing mentioned: Geoff is a walking encyclopedia. He knows about everything.She’s a walking dictionary (= she knows a lot of words).
See also: walking

walking encyclopedia, a

An extremely knowledgeable individual. The term likens a person to a huge amalgamation of learning. One of the earliest versions of this cliché occurred in the poem “Tears of Peace” by George Chapman (ca. 1559–1634): “And let a scholar all Earth’s volumes carry, He will be but a walking dictionary.” In Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (1869) Meg speaks admiringly of a man she considers “a walking encyclopedia.”
See also: walking
References in periodicals archive ?
Another book on the Harlem Renaissance, bearing the same title, the Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (edited by Cary D.
Wikipedia does have a small community of editors who prevent outrageous postings or defacements of the encyclopedia. (For an in-depth discussion of Wikipedia's inner workings and "self-repairing" aspects, refer to this article in the March 2005 issue of Wired magazine at http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/1 3.03/wiki.html.) Beyond that, however, there is apparently a good bit of leeway for accommodating contributions from many sources and perspectives.
Encyclopedias occupy an uncertain position on the intellectual landscape.
While agreeing with Butterworth's conclusion concerning Averroes (for the simple reason that Averroes did not write an encyclopedia), I find his argumentation problematic.
Thus, a conscientious user of this encyclopedia will not be misled regarding the primary texts.
One of the entries in the eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica that surely caught Borges's attention was the unsigned article on the encyclopedia (9:369-82).
The encyclopedia does not remain aloof from practical applications of Catholic doctrine.
For example, The Learning Co.'s Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia has links to Web sites and an "Ask the Librarian" feature that allows users to e-mail their research topics to Compton's and within 48 hours receive suggested online resources or print materials.
There are also ironies in the encyclopedia. Charles Curran, removed from his position at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., for holding opinions alternate to the hierarchy, writes the article on ACADEMIC FREEDOM.
Since completing the encyclopedia, Sloane has added more than 500 new sequences to his collection.
The resulting two volume Ukraine: A Concise Encyclopedia was published by the University of Toronto Press in 1962 and 1970.
The encyclopedia (UAEPedia.ae) is an initiative of the TRA s Information and eGovernment Sector.
"A printed encyclopedia is obsolete the minute that you print it," Cauz said.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- "The encyclopedia of Iran" was unveiled during a ceremony in Tehran on November 8.
Announcements that the first version of the Macedonian Encyclopedia will be put up for sale again raised concern with Albanian intellectuals, politicians and historians.