William Smith (lexicographer)

William Smith ( born May 20, 1813 in Enfield, † October 7, 1893 in London) was a British Classic philologist and lexicographer.


Born into a non-conformist parents' home, Smith should be a theologian at first, but was then attorney apprentice. However, his real interest was in classical philology and archeology, in which he further formed as an autodidact. In 1830 he began an apprenticeship as a law clerk at the Gray 's Inn, but these broke off and took a position at the University College School in Hampstead. From then on, he devoted himself to lexicographic projects.

From 1853 to 1869 he was a member of the Examination Board in classical studies at the University of London, and after his retirement he became a member of the Senate of the University. From 1854 to 1855 he edited the works of Edward Gibbon and from 1867 until his death he was editor of the Quarterly Review. In 1892 he was elevated to knighthood.