Balderdash is based on the dictionary and on definitions, truthful or obfuscating. Long before the Balderdash game appeared, we used to play a game we called Fictionary which was very similar.
In each round of Fictionary, one person was in charge of the dictionary and finding a word that no one knew (honour system!). The dictionary holder would write out, on two separate pieces of paper, a fake definition and the real definition, paraphrased. Every other player would make up a definition and write it down, too. The dictionary holder would read all the definitions, and the others would vote for the definition they (supposedly) believed was the authentic one.
The player who received the most points (the scoring was a bit complicated) became the new dictionary holder, and so on until everyone had a turn. There was much room for strategy, especially in voting, which was fun, but my favourite memories are of the reader of the definitions being, in some cases, completely unable to read because of uncontrollable laughter. The definitions were often outrageous, always fun.
The Merriam-Webster people give a comprehensive explanation about how a word makes into one of their dictionaries. We often think of a dictionary as an authority - "let's look it up in the dictionary" is often the way to settle an argument (or start one!). The dictionary people, though, are not the first authority: we are. Dictionary makers record what we say and how we use a word. So usage is the way into the dictionary.
A new word or usage could be in a dictionary of slang; if it stays around and many people use it, then it might find its way into a dictionary of common usage; last, when it is used often in enough diverse places, it finds its way into the main, big dictionary.
For me, THE dictionary is The Oxford English Dictionary, or OED as it is known affectionately the world over. In print, the OED is "a massive, twenty-volume work that takes up four feet of shelf space and weighs 150 pounds." There is a compact version in two volumes that comes with its own magnifying glass, and believe me, you do need it. The OED is now on CD and also online.
Most people, I'd guess, wouldn't think that the making of a dictionary could actually be exciting, but Winchester begs to differ, and producers Luc Besson and Mel Gibson think it worthy of a movie.
But a dictionary, in this case the OED, is a wealth of information and much more: