The Dictionary Society of North America (DSNA) was founded in 1975 to foster scholarly and professional activities relating to dictionaries, lexicography, and lexicology and to bring together people interested in the making, study, collection, and use of dictionaries. DSNA’s principal activities include a biennial conference, a biannual newsletter, a website, and a journal. DSNA sponsors a lexicography course at the Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute and funds a fellowship for a student to attend. Occasional informal local meetings for members have begun, and outreach efforts to promote better public understanding of lexicography are underway. DSNA is a member of the American Council of Learned Societies.

A president, vice-president, and executive secretary are DSNA’s officers and with four elected at-large members constitute the executive board, with the immediate past president an ex-officio member. The journal and newsletter editors regularly participate in the conference calls of the board and report to DSNA’s publications committee each month. Other committees address finance, nominations, membership, etc. Currently, DSNA enrolls about 250 individual and institutional members.

Dictionaries—DSNA’s journal—aims to represent the best research in lexicography and lexicology, including history, theory, and practice of lexicography, and the design and use of dictionaries and related works of reference. It publishes peer-reviewed articles, invited contributions, book reviews, reports of reference works in progress, and occasional forums. Published annually, it has in recent years averaged 285 pages; a move to biannual publication is under consideration. The journal is indexed in MLA Bibliography, Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, and Linguistics Abstracts; all issues are accessible through Project MUSE.

DSNA derives its revenue from membership fees, journal royalties, and gifts. Student memberships are free of charge. Both financially and programmatically the biennial conferences are the responsibility of the host institution.