Definition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the Encyclopaedia Britannica

; NAmE
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the most famous encyclopedia in English, printed in many volumes and regularly revised. It was begun in 1768 by a 'society of Gentlemen in Scotland' and has been mostly American since 1928. It was owned for many years by William Benton in Chicago and sold directly to the public by a door-to-door sales force. In 1996 it was bought by Jacob Safra. Since 1994 electronic versions have been available.