[B-Greek] Word Definitions in Greek to English Lexicons?

Barry nebarry at verizon.net
Sat Nov 18 16:19:23 EST 2006

> -----Original Message-----
> From: b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org [mailto:b-greek-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org]
> On Behalf Of Harry Jones
> Sent: Saturday, November 18, 2006 3:45 PM
> Subject: [B-Greek] Word Definitions in Greek to English Lexicons?
> Hello
>   Does anyone know how the definitions for the Greek words we find in the Greek
> lexicons are determined? I wondering what the exact method used is?

Technically, this is a lexicography question, and outside list boundaries, but I doubt that the mod's will mind a quick answer.  Now, at the risk of oversimplification, essentially lexicographers read lots and lots of Greek and get to know the language really well.  Then they look for every possible context they can find the word, to determine the range of usage, and from that they generate their glosses.  Problems come in with hapax legomena and rare usages, and then must one turn to etymology and cognate languages for clues if the context is insufficiently clear.

Lexicons are descriptive, and not prescriptive.

N.E. Barry Hofstetter 
Adjunct Faculty & IT Support 
The Center for Urban Theological Studies 
Classics Instructor, The American Academy 
And my site: 

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