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Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia

The Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (KBBI ; lit.'Great Dictionary of the Indonesian Language') is the official dictionary of the Indonesian language compiled by Language Development and Fostering Agency and published by Balai Pustaka. This dictionary is the primary reference for the standard Indonesian language because it is the most complete and accurate Indonesian dictionary ever published by publishers who have patent rights from the government of the Republic of Indonesia under the auspices of the Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology. It is also considered canonical to measure which words have been formally incorporated into Indonesian.

Publication History

First Edition

The first modern KBBI dictionary was published during the 5th Indonesian Language Congress on 28 October 1988. The first edition contains approximately 62,000 entries. The dictionary was compiled by a team led by the Head of the Language Center, Anton M. Moeliono, with chief editors Sri Sukesi Adiwimarta and Adi Sunaryo. [1]

Second Edition

Although many praised the first issue of the KBBI, it was not without criticism. In response to fulfil for criticism, a second edition was released immediately.The second edition was compiled under the leadership of Lukman Ali with Chief Editor Harimurti Kridalaksana with about 72,000 entries and was published in 1991.[1]

Third Edition

The rapid development of Indonesian vocabulary has pushed the government to document new vocabularies and update the previous edition of the dictionary. Therefore, the then Head of the Language Center, who also acted as Editor-in-Chief, Hasan Alwi, decided to publish the Third Edition in 2000, containing about 78,000 entries.[1]

Fourth Edition and Fifth

Then it followed by the fourth edition in 2008 with more than 90,000 entries under the monitor of Dendy Sugono. The fifth edition was published in 2016 and launched by the former minister of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia, Muhadjir Effendy, with around 112,000 entries. Unlike the previous editions, the fifth edition is published in three forms: print, offline (iOS and Android applications), and online ( Online access allows anybody to find the meaning and propose new vocabularies conveniently. The latest online dictionary also provides the etymology of some indonesian lexicons.[1]

Sixth Edition

The sixth edition was launched on 26 October 2023 during 12th Indonesian Language Congress. The sixth edition contained 120,000 words and currently completely online. The print version is expected to be released in October 2024.[2][3] Endang Aminudin Aziz, Head of Language Development and Fostering Agency, expected that the final form of 6th KBBI will contain 200,000 words at the time the print edition issued.[3]

Editorial practices

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.[4] 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.[4]

Endang Aminudin Aziz revealed that what KBBI contains just a minuscule fraction of total actual current Indonesian words. As she revealed on 28 October 2023, Indonesian language contain a total of 2 billion words which are listed and maintained by Korpus, an in-house language analytics tool developed by linguists and researchers of the Language Development and Fostering Agency. The tool later ranked the specific word usage in current Indonesian literatures, or any source collected by the agency. With certain criteria established by the agency, the specific word will be selected to be new word added to the new version of KBBI. She also said that new loan words and/or slangs that become too frequently used, widespread, and eventually being commonly used in daily conversations may be considered to be added in the future KBBI.[3]


The dictionary has been criticized for being too selective, and excluding words that are in common use.[4] 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".[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Sejarah Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia". Badan Pengembangan dan Pembinaan Bahasa. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  2. ^ Savitri, Devita. "4 Produk Kebahasaan dan Kesastraan Baru di KBI XII, Ada KBBI Daring VI". detikedu (in Indonesian). Retrieved 31 January 2024.
  3. ^ a b c Savitri, Devita. "Badan Bahasa Targetkan 200 Ribu Kosakata Baru di KBBI VI Sampai Oktober 2024". detikedu (in Indonesian). Retrieved 31 January 2024.
  4. ^ a b c van Dam, Nikolaos (15 February 2009). "A sophistication unfolds in a new dictionary". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
  5. ^ Sugiharto, Setiono (4 April 2009). "'KBBI': Praise, critique from a language user". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
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Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia
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