Glossary entry

A glossary entry topic defines a single meaning of a term. It also can provide information such as acronyms and synonyms.


Glossary entry topics serve the following purposes:

  • They ensure that a team of writers can use the same terminology.
  • They can be used to create glossaries that provide readers with definitions of terms and acronyms.
  • They can be used, in conjunction with the <abbreviated-form> element, to enable processors to specify an acronym on second and later uses of a term.

Content model

Each glossary entry topic contains the following structures:


This section contains examples of glossary entry topics.

Figure 1. Simple glossary entry topic

The following code sample contains a simple glossary entry topic:

<glossentry id="ddl">
  <glossterm>data definition language</glossterm>
  <glossdef>A language used for defining database schemas</glossdef>
Figure 2. Glossary entry topic used for acronym and acronym expansion

The following code sample contains a glossary entry topic that is used, in conjunction with an <abbreviated-form> element, to render the expanded form on first usage and the acronym on later usages.

<glossentry id="glossary-aids">
  <glossterm>acquired immunodeficiency syndrome</glossterm>
      <glossSurfaceForm>acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)</glossSurfaceForm>

Assume that a key-definition map specifies a value of aids for this glossary entry topic. On the first usage of <abbreviated-form keyref="aids"/>, the processor renders the content of the <glossSurfaceForm> element. On the second and later usages, the processor renders the content of the <glossAcronum> element.