Great Dictionary of the Indonesian Language of the Language Center

The Great Dictionary of the Indonesian Language of the Language Center (Indonesian: Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia Pusat Bahasa (abbreviated in English and Indonesian as KBBI)) is the official dictionary of the Indonesian language. Produced by the Language Center of the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, it is considered canonical as a measure of which words have been formally incorporated into Indonesian.

The dictionary was first published in 1988, and launched at the Congress on the Indonesian Language. The first edition contained 62,000 entries, the second in 1991 had 72,000, the third in 2000 had 78,000, and the fourth in 2008 had 90,000. The current, fifth edition was released in 2016 and contains 127,036 entries; it is available online. The language it records is formal; it omits words that are considered slang or foreign, and its aim is prescriptive. The authors note that "the compilation of a dictionary constitutes an effort of language codification which becomes part of standardization of a language."[1] The dictionary has been criticised for being too selective, and excluding words that are in common use.[1] Continual work is done towards future versions, to ensure the dictionary remains relevant to changes in the Indonesian language, and the authors are open to criticism and advice on how the work might accurately reflect Indonesian.[1] Writing in the Jakarta Post, Setiono Sugiharto states the "KBBI should be appreciated as a byproduct of work by Indonesian scholars who persistently show their commitment to the development of the Indonesian lexicon".[2]


  1. ^ a b c "A sophistication unfolds in a new dictionary" Nikolaos van Dam, Jakarta Post 15/02/2009
  2. ^ "'KBBI': Praise, critique from a language user", Setiono Sugiharto, Jakarta Post 04/04/2009

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