Hanyu Da Cidian
The Hanyu Da Cidian is the most inclusive available Chinese dictionary
Chinese dictionary
Chinese dictionaries date back over two millennia to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, which is a significantly longer lexicographical history than any other language. There are hundreds of dictionaries for Chinese, and this article will introduce some of the most important...

. Lexicographically comparable to the OED, it has diachronic
Diachronic or Diachronous,from the Greek word Διαχρονικός , is a term for something happening over time. It is used in several fields of research.*Diachronic linguistics : see Historical linguistics...

 coverage of the Chinese language
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, and traces usage over three millennia from Chinese classic texts
Chinese classic texts
Chinese classic texts, or Chinese canonical texts, today often refer to the pre-Qin Chinese texts, especially the Neo-Confucian titles of Four Books and Five Classics , a selection of short books and chapters from the voluminous collection called the Thirteen Classics. All of these pre-Qin texts...

 to modern slang. The chief editor Luo Zhufeng 羅竹風 (1911-1996), along with a team of over 300 scholars and lexicographers, started the enormous task of compilation in 1979. Publication of the thirteen volumes began in 1986 and finished in 1993.

The Hanyu da cidian includes over 23,000 head Chinese character
Chinese character
Chinese characters are logograms used in the writing of Chinese and Japanese , less frequently Korean , formerly Vietnamese , or other languages...

 entries, defines some 370,000 words, and gives 1,500,000 citations. The head entries, which are collated
Collation is the assembly of written information into a standard order. One common type of collation is called alphabetization, though collation is not limited to ordering letters of the alphabet...

 by a novel 200 radical
Radical (Chinese character)
A Chinese radical is a component of a Chinese character. The term may variously refer to the original semantic element of a character, or to any semantic element, or, loosely, to any element whatever its origin or purpose...

 system, are given in traditional Chinese character
Traditional Chinese character
Traditional Chinese characters refers to Chinese characters in any character set which does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. It most commonly refers to characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong, or in the Kangxi...

s while simplified Chinese character
Simplified Chinese character
Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Xiandai Hanyu Tongyong Zibiao for use in Mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, it is one of many standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language...

s are noted. Definitions and explanations are in simplified, excepting classical quotations.

Volume 13 has both pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

 and stroke
Stroke order
Stroke order refers to the order in which the strokes of a Chinese character are written. A stroke is a movement of a writing instrument on a writing surface. Chinese characters are used in various forms in Chinese, Japanese, and in Korean...

 count indexes, plus appendices. A separate index volume (1997) lists 728,000 entries for characters by their position within words and phrases, something like a reverse dictionary. For instance, the Hanyu da cidian enters Daode jing 道德經 under the head character dao; this reverse-index lists it under both de and jing. "Despite the fact that it weighs over 20 kilos and contains a total of 50 million characters spread over 20,000 large double-column pages," says Wilkinson (2000:71), "the Hanyu da cidian is an easy dictionary to use to the full because it is unusually well indexed." It became even easier to use when Victor H. Mair
Victor H. Mair
Victor Henry Mair is a Philologist specializing in Sinitic and Indo-European languages, and holds the position of Professor of Chinese Language and Literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, United States...

 edited a single-sort alphabetically arranged pinyin index (2004).

The abridged CD-ROM version (2.0) contains 18,013 head characters, 336,385 words and phrases (without pinyin), and 861,956 citations. It includes male and female sound files for single-syllable pronunciation, and enables more than 20 search methods. It requires Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

, with a Chinese locale
In computing, locale is a set of parameters that defines the user's language, country and any special variant preferences that the user wants to see in their user interface...

 setting due to its use of GB 18030
GB 18030
GB18030 is a Chinese government standard describing the required language and character support necessary for software in China. In addition to the "GB18030 code page" this standard contains requirements about which scripts must be supported, font support, etc....


The 3.0 CD-ROM version was released in 2007. This version includes SecuROM
SecuROM is a CD/DVD copy protection and digital rights management product developed by Sony DADC. SecuROM aims to resist home media duplication devices, professional duplicators, and attempts at reverse engineering software. It is most often used for commercial computer games running under the...

 DRM copy protection software in its installation, possibly in response to the earlier version's ISO image
ISO image
An ISO image is an archive file of an optical disc, composed of the data contents of every written sector of an optical disc, including the optical disc file system...

 being illegally distributed
Copyright infringement of software
Copyright infringement of software=The copyright infringement of software refers to several practices which involve the unauthorized copying of computer software. Copyright infringement of this kind varies globally...

 on VeryCD
VeryCD is a Chinese website that shares files via eD2k links. The website began in September 2003 by Huang Yimeng . In June 2005, Shanghai Source Networking Technology Co., Ltd was established. It is a for-profit organization headquartered in Shanghai, China...

. Due to design errors, the 2007 version of 3.0 is incompatible with Windows 7 OS; rather than release a free software patch to fix the problem, the publisher began selling an otherwise unchanged, full-price Windows 7-compatible version of 3.0 in 2010.

See also

  • Dai Kan-Wa jiten
    Dai Kan-Wa jiten
    The is a Japanese dictionary of kanji compiled by Morohashi Tetsuji. Remarkable for its comprehensiveness and size, Morohashi's dictionary contains over 50,000 character entries and 530,000 compound words...

  • Han-Han Dae Sajeon
    Han-Han Dae Sajeon
    Han-Han Dae Sajeon is the generic term for Korean hanja-to-hangul dictionaries. There are several such dictionaries from different publishers. The most comprehensive one, published by Dankook University Publishing, contains 53,667 Chinese characters and 420,269 compound words...

  • Hanyu Da Zidian
    Hanyu Da Zidian
    The Hanyu Da Zidian is one of the best available reference works on Chinese characters. A group of more than 400 editors and lexicographers began compilation in 1979, and it was published in eight volumes from 1986 to 1989. A separate volume of essays documents the lexicographical complexities...

  • Zhongwen Da Cidian
    Zhongwen Da Cidian
    The Zhongwen Da Cidian is an unabridged Chinese dictionary, edited by Zhang Qiyun and others. The first edition had 40 volumes, which were published from 1962 through 1968....

  • List of radicals used in the Hanyu Da Cidian
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