How to Cite a Dictionary in APA

Share to Google Classroom

Published August 10, 2012. Updated January 17, 2022.


Dictionaries can provide definitions, synonyms, and a variety of important information. This guide will show you how to create citations for a dictionary following APA 7th edition guidelines.

Citing an online dictionary

Many online dictionaries do not have a published date or an indicated individual author. As such, here’s what you to do:

  • If no individual author is indicated, the article/webpage publisher is both the author and publisher.
  • Cite the organization as the author and leave out the publisher information.
  • Place “n.d.” for “no date” where publication information usually goes.
  • Include a “Retrieved date” since there is no published date.

Online Dictionary Citation Structure:

Organization Name. (n.d.). Defined word. In Website Title. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL

Dictionary Citation Example:

Here is how you would cite the entry for “food” from an online dictionary:

Oxford University Press. (n.d.). Food. In Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Retrieved October 22, 2020, from

In-text Citation Example:

(Oxford University Press, n.d.)



How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?