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AGLC - Referencing Guide


Referencing Legal Dictionaries


Tertiary materials, such as legal dictionaries, should not be quoted in legal writing at university level.

Therefore, legal dictionaries should not appear in footnotes.

Legal dictionaries can be included in a Bibliography as a source used to inform on a topic.


Rule 7.6 Legal Dictionaries

  Include retrieval date for online services

  Use single quotation marks around entry titles (unitalicised)

  Include number of relevant definition preceded by 'def' if there are multiple definitions

  Indicate which entry is being referred to, if multiple entries for the same word, by using the abbreviation used in the dictionary (eg 'adj' or n1')

  Use superscript if a number is required



Standard format for footnote

Dictionary - online:

   Dictionary Title   (online at  Date of Retrieval  'Entry Title'  (def  Definition Number ) < URL >.


Dictionary - print:

  Dictionary Title , ( Edition Number  ed,  Publication Year )  'Entry Title'  (def  Definition Number ).  


Standard format for bibliography

Dictionary - online:

  Dictionary Title  (online at  Date of Retrieval )   


Dictionary - print:

   Dictionary Title , ( Edition Number  ed,  Year of Publication )   


Footnote Examples

Legal Encyclopaedia - online

1 Macquarie Dictionary (online at 20 February 2018) 'punctilious'.

2 Encyclopaedic Australian Legal Dictionary (online at 20 February 2018) 'default judgment' (def 1).

Legal Encyclopaedia - print

3 Macquarie Dictionary (5th ed, 2009) 'demise' (def 4).

4 Chambers Dictionary (13th ed, 2014) 'éclair'.

5 Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed, 1989) 'school' (v2, def 2b).

See the All Examples page for examples of in-text and reference list entries for specific resources such as articles, books, dictionaries, and web pages.