Citing encyclopedias or dictionaries: APA (7th ed.) citation guide


This guide is based on the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th ed. It provides selected citation examples for common types of sources. For more detailed information consult directly a print copy of the style manual.

Keep track of your document references/citations and format your reference lists easily with citation management software.

Consult SFU's customised APA citation guides with examples for business sourcesCanadian government documents and legal citation.

Entire work

Refer to APA's Whole edited book, Several volumes of multivolume work, or consult the guide directly for more information (Section 10.2, textual works, pp. 324-325).

General reference form (see comments for note on DOIs):
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year). Title of book (ed). Publisher name.

Reference list example:

Cullen, F. T., & Wilcox, P. (Eds.). (2010). Encyclopedia of criminological theory (2nd ed., Vols. 1-2). SAGE Publications.

McLaughlin, E., & Muncie, J. (Eds.). (2006). The Sage dictionary of criminology (2nd ed.). SAGE.

Sadie, S. (Ed.). (2001). The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians (2nd ed., Vols. 1-29). Grove's Dictionaries.

Zalta, E. N. (Ed.). (2007). The Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy (Winter 2019 ed.). Stanford University.

Reference in text example:

(Sadie, 2001)

(Zalta, 2019)

(McLaughlin & Muncie, 2006, p. 14)


Entry only

Refer to APA's dictionary (online or print) entry references or consult the guide directly for more information (Section 10.3, textual works, p. 328).

General reference form (see comments for note on DOIs):
Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (year) Title of chapter or entry. In A. Editor, B. Editor, & C. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (Vol.#, page range).

Reference list example:

Entry with individual author:

Etzkowitz, H., & Dzisah, J. (2009). University–industry relationships. In J.B. Callicott & R. Froderman (Eds.), Encyclopedia of environmental ethics and philosophy (Vol.2, pp. 344-346). Macmillan Reference USA.

Firdion, J. M. (2004). Foster care. In D. Levinson (Ed.), Encyclopedia of homelessness (Vol. 1, pp. 167-170). Sage Publications.  doi: 10.4135/9781412952569.n50

McLaughlin, E., & Muncie, J. (Eds.). (2006). Anomie. In The Sage dictionary of criminology (2nd ed., pp. 12–14). Sage.

Entry with group author:

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Jaunty. In dictionary. Retrieved August 6, 2020, from

Reference in text example:

(Firdion, 2004)
(Firdion, 2004, p.169) [when quoting]

(McLaughlin & Muncie, 2006)
(McLaughlin & Muncie, 2006, p. 13) [when quoting]

(Merriam-Webster, n.d.)


  • When the author and the publisher are the same, the name appears only in the author element.
  • For online reference works that are continuously updated,  use "n.d." for the publication year (Section 9.15, p.290) and include a retrieval date (Section 9.16, p. 290).
  • If an online version refers to a print version, include the edition number after the title.
  • If archived versions of links are not provided, include a retrieval date (see Merriam-Webster example).

Wiki pages -- entry only

See APA's Wikipedia entry references or consult the guide for more details (Section 10.3, textual works, p. 329).

Reference list example:

Anomie. (2020, August 6). In Wikipedia.

Emile Durkheim. (2020, August 6). In Wikipedia.

Reference in text example:

("Emile Durkheim," 2020)

("Anomie," 2020)


  • If there is no author or editor of the entry, place the title in the author position.
  • If a wiki does not provide archived versions, include a retrieval date.