The Amo Institute produces and maintains glossaries, specialized dictionaries and encyclopedic dictionaries including thesauri. The latter extend beyond a glossary or a specialized dictionary.

The glossary, the general and specialized dictionary, the thesaurus and encyclopedic dictionary, are all types of reference works.

A glossary, also known as a vocabulary or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms, often in a particular domain of knowledge with a definition for those terms.

Glossary projects of the Amo Institute (under the Institute's former name Lycaeus) : the Belgian Law Dictionaries (www.juridischwoordenboek.be and www.dictionnairejuridique.be)

A general dictionary is an alphabetical listed collection of terms often including nouns, verbs and conjugations, mapped to definitions, usage and translation. A specialized or technical dictionary includes terms that describe concepts in specific fields. Specialized dictionaries are supposed to be onomasiological, first identifying concepts and then establishing the terms to designate them.

Such a dictionary is primarily focused on terms and their definition, and typically provides limited information for the word defined. Hence, while it may offer a definition, it may leave the reader still lacking in understanding the meaning or import of a term, and how the term relates to a broader field of knowledge.

Dictionary projects of the Amo Institute (under the Institute's former name Lycaeus) : the Economic Dictionary published at www.economischwoordenboek.nl and www.economischwoordenboek.be , and the Dutch and Belgian Political dictionary (shortly published on www.politiekwoordenboek.nl and www.politiekwoordenboek.be)

In contrast to a dictionary, a thesaurus lists terms grouped together according to similarity of meaning. It is a compilation of synonyms, antonyms and further semantically related terms, such as holonyms, meronyms, hypernyms and hyponyms. The relationship amongst the terms is thus indicated by their mutual relative position. All thesauri projects of the Amo Institute are incorporated in its encyclopedic dictionaries.

Encyclopedic dictionaries including thesauri take the general and specialized dictionaries, and the glossaries a major step further. Not only do these reference works specialize in a particular field, such as Law, Economics, Business, Political studies, History, Psychology and other Social sciences and Humanities, these are be organized around an academic perspective.

The Encyclopedic dictionaries seek to discuss each concept (term) in more depth and convey the accumulated knowledge on that subject. It offers ease of use through summarized entries, more entries of separate, logically related terms (thesauri), classification, maps and illustrations, as well as references, bibliography and statistics. Encyclopedic dictionary of the Amo Institute (under the Institute's former name Lycaeus) : the Dutch Law Encyclopedic Dictionary published at www.juridischwoordenboek.nl.


What's in it for you?

The reason why it is worth visiting these dictionaries again and again, or rather, why the Amo Encyclopedic Dictionaries are so successful (the Dutch Law Dictionary alone has over 35.000 visitors/month), is because they contain a lot of specialized terms, concepts or processes; the chance of an adequate search result is quite big.

Moreover, these terms are explained very reliably, concisely and clearly, so that it does not take much time to understand things properly. Many students therefore consult the Amo Encyclopedic Dictionaries during lectures.

In addition to a definition, most terms are provided with enriching data, such as related terms, references (e.g. to laws), photographs, graphs, etc. All of this benefits a more complete understanding of terms and allows students to place them in a larger context and thus the subject matter to be studied better and easier.

Besides the authoritative quality, the Amo online dictionaries are very handy, fast and clear. And last but not least, they are free to consult.

Adapted for Tablets and Smartphones

Lycaeus Reference Works are adapted for use on tablets and smartphones. Not only are the reference works used in combination with studying textbooks, but also during your lectures and workshops.

About the Amo Encyclopedic Dictionaries

The Amo Encyclopedic Dictionaries contain scientifically underpinned definitions, explanations, translations, thesauri and illustrations of texts, terms, concepts or processes in the field of Law, Economics, Business, Political studies, History, Psychology and other Social sciences and Humanities.

Alongside the definitions and enriched data such as laws, jurisprudence, citations, figures, dates, charts, images and all kinds of other interesting facts and information, the Amo thesaurus adds to an in-depth understanding of the terms. It helps people explore the network of terms.

In Amo Encyclopedic Dictionaries one can find the following semantic relations:

  • synonym: words with identical or similar meaning. They can be used interchangeably. (icon )
  • homonym/polysemy: identical or similar word. A homonym has a different meaning, while a polyseme has a related meaning. (icon)
  • antonym: opposite meaning (icon)
  • holonym: a whole, opposite of meronym. X is a holonym of Y if Ys are parts of X. (icon)
  • meronym: a part of a whole, opposite of holonym. X is a meronym of Y if Xs are parts of Y. (icon)
  • hypernym: broader meaning, a superclass or hierarchically superordinate term; higher ranked (icon)
  • hyponym: narrower meaning, a subclass or subordinate term, lower ranked. (icon)

The combination of lexicographical and terminological research results all fit nicely in the Amo dictionaries.

The Amo Institute addresses terms (including jargon) and concepts of Law, Economics, Business, Political studies, History, Psychology and other Social sciences and Humanities. These terms are (compound) words and multi-word expressions that in specific contexts are given specific meanings which may deviate from the meanings in other contexts and in everyday language.

The Amo Encyclopedic Dictionaries are electronic resources that list terms, concepts and processes of law, economy, business, political studies and other Social sciences and Humanities. They evidently contain specialised vocabulary or jargon i.e. words, expressions, technical terms etc. which are intelligible to one of these fields, and academics as well as professionals active in these fields, but normally spoken not to the general public.

These dictionaries reveal the appropriate definition of these terms in English, its usage (e.g. an example which includes the term), source or attribution (the author of the definition), and translation (the equivalent term in other European languages)

Additional Support

The reference works of the Amo Institute are (thus) an additional support for your university study. They've proven to be really valuable. That is because the works offer direct and simple access to definitions and explanations of terminology. In order to get in-depth understanding the explanations are enriched with related issues, laws, jurisprudence, citations, figures, dates, charts, images and all kinds of other interesting facts and information.

Since 2001 more than six million Master students and Bachelors have consulted and used Lycaeus' reference works.


Studying the definitions and explanations of the reference works of the Amo Institute will easily expose the basic structures of Social sciences. This makes the reference works an excellent education tool.

For instance, the Amo Dutch Law Encyclopedic Dictionary enables you to quickly get a pretty good impression of the meaning of a legal term and associated relevant information. You can therefore react faster and adequately; you know immediately in which direction you need to look further and - above all - you can give your client, manager or teacher a good answer, apart from the fact that you yourself also are learning a lot!

portrait " Our Dutch law encyclopedic dictionary is a hands-on must for every law student!", Maryse Dubbeldam, University of Amsterdam, Team Leader

Don't bother if some of your ready knowledge went into oblivion; the Amo Institute is there to give just that extra support.

Investment in Research

While studying, but also after you graduated, you will enjoy the added value of the online reference works. They are educational, meaningful and up-to-date, and that is because the Amo Institute largely invests in research.

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