A Table Alphabetical (Robert Cawdrey, 1604)
Table Alphabeticall, first printed in 1604, is generally regarded to be the first fully developed representative of the monolingual dictionary in English. For each of the 2543 headwords contained in its first edition, Cawdrey provided a concise definition -- the standard entry rarely exceeded more than a few words, usually synonyms -- and he marked those words thought to be of French or Greek origin; in some cases, he also marked those words which were a "kind of" a larger group. Cawdrey added material to each of its three later editions (1609, 1613, 1617), ultimately to define over 3200 words, but did not vary his method. While small and unsophisticated by today's standards, the Table was the largest dictionary of its type at the time and, when viewed in the full context of Early Modern English lexicography, it exemplifies the movement from words lists and glosses to dictionaries which more closely resemble those of today."