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all the words (the lexicon) of a language, including neologisms, dialect and slang words, and terminology. A vocabulary’s scope and composition depend on the nature and level of the speaker’s economic, social, and cultural life. A vocabulary is an organized system in which words are united or contrasted through various relationships of content, as exemplified by synonyms, homonyms, antonyms, and semantic fields.

Words in frequent and wide use constitute the active vocabulary, and specialized or rarely used words (archaisms, neologisms, and terminology) constitute the passive vocabulary. The boundaries between the active and passive vocabulary are not fixed, and over a language’s course of development words shift from one group to the other. Examples are Russian proshenie (“petition”), prisluga (“maidservant”), guverner (“tutor”), and gorodovoi (“policeman”), which have passed from the active to the passive vocabulary.

Certain words are actively used by all speakers of a language over a lengthy period of history, for example, names of parts of the body or natural phenomena, terms related to kinship, and words designating basic activities, traits, and qualities. Such words are termed the basic vocabulary and are subject to the fewest changes. Frequency dictionaries indicate the relationship between the active and passive vocabulary at a given stage of development, generally within the limits of certain styles, genres, or types of speech.

As society develops, vocabularies continually expand owing to the formation of words through derivation and the assimilation of borrowings. During various epochs words from Scandinavian, Finnish, Turkic, Church Slavonic, Greek, and later from Latin and the Romance and Germanic languages entered the Russian vocabulary, whose base consists of Common Slavic and native Russian words. The vocabulary of German has absorbed words from Latin, French, Italian, English, and several other languages. These layers of borrowed words within a language’s vocabulary reflect the cultural and historical ties between peoples and constitute a proof—sometimes the only proof—of contacts among ancient peoples. Vocabularies are recorded, although not completely, in dictionaries.


Ozhegov, S. I. “K voprosu ob izmeneniiakh slovarnogo sostava russkogo iazyka v sovetskuiu epokhu.” Voprosy iazykoznaniia, 1953, no. 2.
Borovoi, L. Ia. Put’slova, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1963.
Iakubovich, T. D. Novyeslova. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
Ufimtseva, A. A. Slovo v leksiko-semanticheskoi sisteme iazyka. Moscow, 1968.
References in periodicals archive ?
They have to know how to use word-learning strategies to determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary.
How do the pieces of the vocabulary puzzle fit together in the standards to enhance student achievement?
Providing direct vocabulary instruction prior to reading a story allows students to better comprehend words as they are encountered in the story.
The research under review intends to investigate the types of vocabulary learning strategies which the 12th grade students reported to deal with their vocabulary learning.
A further stimulus behind a targeted approach to vocabulary learning activities relates to the impact of the communicative language orthodoxy in our classrooms.
In this literature review, I seek to analyze three main issues that stand out after reviewing the articles concerning incidental vocabulary learning.
As Cristina Lojo Seoane, from the USC, co-author of the study published in the journal Anales de Psicologca (Annals of Psychology), explains: "We focused on level of vocabulary as it is considered an indicator of crystallised intelligence (the use of previously acquired intellectual skills).
Listening vocabulary refers to the words we need to know to understand what we hear.
As it has been mentioned, vocabulary size is one of the most central dimensions in explorations of lexical proficiency.
The main drawback of business process modelling is a non-integrated business vocabulary, which would be needed to ensure the compatibility of the business processes.
Learner-related or reader-based factors include the learner's previous L2 learning experience (Paribakht & Wesche); the learner's degree of attention to the details in the text (Frantzen, 2003; Nassaji, 2003), and as his or her preconceptions about the possible meaning of the word (Frantzen); the size of the learner's receptive vocabulary knowledge (Laufer, 1997), depth of vocabulary knowledge (Nassaji, 2004; Qian, 1998, 2005), procedural knowledge (Ellis, 1994), sight vocabulary and background knowledge of the passage or familiarity with the topic (Pulido, 2007); the learner's ability to make use of extratextual cues (Haastrup, 1991); the level of mental effort involved in the task (Fraser); and the effect of the learner's native language on the process (Paribakht, 2005).
Drawing on this theoretical framework the present study attempts to fill the existing gap in complete understanding the effect of incidental vocabulary learning in the form of different gloss types (L1 and L2) through the application of State Rating Tasks.