Welcome to the Emily Dickinson Lexicon Website

This Emily Dickinson Lexicon website will be unavailable as of 31 July 2024 for change-of-server maintenance. We do not know when this transition will be complete, so please excuse any inconvenience that this change may cause. Thank you for your work on the words of Emily Dickinson.

You may access the EDLexicon entries and the Webster entries through the tabs at the top of the homepage as well as through the "Searches" box to the right. A link to the EDL website is available at the Emily Dickinson Archive website of Houghton Library at Harvard University: (EDA, Emily Dickinson Archive). Thank you for your patience as we finish proof-reading the Dickinson lexicon files. We invite visitors and registered users to provide feedback at cynthia_hallen@outlook.com. Under the EDLexicon tab, visitors to the website may search the lexicon to view alphabetical entries that consist of a headword with its inflected forms, part of speech, etymology, webplay, and definitions. Users who register by reading the site license and sign-in on the website have further access to citation examples and poem numbers from the Johnson and Franklin editions of Dickinson’s poems. There is no charge for registration because the website is not for profit.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) wrote approximately 1,789 lyric poems in nineteenth-century American English. The Emily Dickinson Lexicon (EDL) is a comprehensive dictionary of over 9,275 words and variants found in the collected poems. We have used Dickinson’s poems, the Webster 1844 dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary, and other resources to create the EDL entries.

Dickinson composed most of the verse in her hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts, during the noon of New England’s philological renaissance. Her “loved Philology” (J1651/Fr1715) presents a close-knit diction that she crafted with allusions, ambiguity, antithesis, circumlocution, definitions, figures, idioms, kennings, metaphors, neologisms, polysemy, puns, symbols, and synonymy. Her handiwork includes lexical correspondences to Noah Webster's 1844 American Dictionary of the English Language (ADEL), for which we have coined the term webplay. All 82,971 entries of Webster's 1844 dictionary are available under the Webster tab. The preface and introduction are available as a separate document under the Resources tab.

We gratefully acknowledge those who have collaborated to create this lexicon as a reference tool for readers, writers, students, scholars, critics, poets, corpus linguists, and translators. Please see the EDL reference list under the Introduction and the Resources tabs above. One of the primary aims of the lexicon is to facilitate the translation of Emily Dickinson’s collected poems into as many languages as possible. We invite registered users to contribute revisions, corrections, and additions as they examine headwords and definitions in the EDL website database.

All materials, including computer code, contained on this website are protected by United States and International copyright and other applicable laws: © 2007–2024 Brigham Young University.