alike to a single sentence or a connected composition. Errors in grammar, false construction, a confused
disposition of words, or an improper application of them, constitute bad diction; but the niceties, the
elegancies, the peculiarities, and the beauties of composition, which mark the genius and talent of the
writer, are what is comprehended under the name of style." Crabb.
(Dic`tion*al"ri*an) n. A lexicographer. [R.]
(Dic"tion*a*ry) n.; pl. Dictionaries [Cf. F. dictionnaire. See Diction.]
1. A book containing the words of a language, arranged alphabetically, with explanations of their meanings; a
lexicon; a vocabulary; a wordbook.
I applied myself to the perusal of our writers; and noting whatever might be of use to ascertain or illustrate
any word or phrase, accumulated in time the materials of a dictionary.Johnson.
2. Hence, a book containing the words belonging to any system or province of knowledge, arranged
alphabetically; as, a dictionary of medicine or of botany; a biographical dictionary.
(||Dic"tum) n.; pl. L. Dicta E. Dictums [L., neuter of dictus, p. p. of dicere to say. See Diction,
and cf. Ditto.]
1. An authoritative statement; a dogmatic saying; an apothegm.
A class of critical dicta everywhere current.M. Arnold.
2. (Law) (a) A judicial opinion expressed by judges on points that do not necessarily arise in the case,
and are not involved in it. (b) (French Law) The report of a judgment made by one of the judges who
has given it. Bouvier. (c) An arbitrament or award.
(Dic*ty"o*gen) n. [Gr. a net + -gen.] (Bot.) A plant with net-veined leaves, and monocotyledonous
embryos, belonging to the class Dictyogenæ, proposed by Lindley for the orders Dioscoreaceæ, Smilaceæ,
(Di*cy"a*nide) n. [Pref. di- + cyanogen.] (Chem.) A compound of a binary type containing
two cyanogen groups or radicals; called also bicyanide.
(||Di`cy*e"ma*ta) n. pl. [NL., fr. Gr. di- = di`s- twice + an embryo.] (Zoöl.) An order of
worms parasitic in cephalopods. They are remarkable for the extreme simplicity of their structure. The
embryo exists in two forms.
(Di`cy*e"mid) a. (Zoöl.) Like or belonging to the Dicyemata. n. One of the Dicyemata.
(Di*cyn"o*dont) n. [Gr. di- = di`s- twice + dog + 'odoy`s, 'odo`ntos, tooth.] (Paleon.)
One of a group of extinct reptiles having the jaws armed with a horny beak, as in turtles, and in the
genus Dicynodon, supporting also a pair of powerful tusks. Their remains are found in triassic strata
of South Africa and India.
(Did) imp. of Do.
(Di*dac"tic Di*dac"tic*al) a. [Gr. fr. to teach; akin to L. docere to teach: cf. F. didactique. See
Docile.] Fitted or intended to teach; conveying instruction; preceptive; instructive; teaching some moral
lesson; as, didactic essays. "Didactical writings." Jer. Taylor.
The finest didactic poem in any language.Macaulay.
(Di*dac"tic), n. A treatise on teaching or education. [Obs.] Milton.