- The greatest masterpiece in literature is only a dictionary out of order. 1889–1963 French dramatist and film director: attributed
- Every quotation contributes something to the stability or enlargement of the language.
on citations of usage in a dictionary
A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) preface 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer:
- Lexicographer. A writer of dictionaries, a harmless drudge.
A Dictionary of the English Language (1755) 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer:
- Dictionaries are like watches, the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true. 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: letter to Francesco Sastres, 21 August 1784
- [The] collective unconscious of the race is the OED.
American Poetry Review September/October 1979 1926– American poet: in
- I suppose that so long as there are people in the world, they will publish dictionaries defining what is unknown in terms of something equally unknown.
Myles Away from Dublin (1990) 1911–66 Irish novelist and journalist:
- I've been in Who's Who, and I know what's what, but it'll be the first time I ever made the dictionary.
on having an inflatable life jacket named after her
Mae West (1981) 1892–1980 American film actress: letter to the RAF, early 1940s; Fergus Cashin