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The Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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Book Overview

A revised and updated edition of the best-selling dictionary covering core vocabulary with over a hundred new entries and senses. More than 75,000 definitions and 8,000 usage examples aid... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Excellent dictionary

This is an excellent dictionary.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2005 ed. ISBN-10:0-87779-636-X (pbk.:alk. paper)

I rate this particular edition 5* because of its handiness and inclusion of almost every word I would use, from academic writing to casual letters. The 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.6 size suits my taste for such a reference. It is not too heavy to carry around; the print is perfectly sized for me, whereas the print of the "typical" paperback book-size dictionary seems too small. I think this edition's ease of reading is due to the quality of paper used; it is acid-free, producing crisp, clear letters. Other pluses are the "lists" inclusions of hundreds of "dis-", "un-", con-", etc. words that normally would not be included in paperback-sized dictionaries (a few out there though). Although it probably will never happen, I'd like this dictionary even more if I could buy it spiral-bound with a heavy-quality plastic front and back. Since it's not offered that way, though, I have had mine bounded. My husband and I fuss over whose desk gets the dictionary, so because of the great price, I'm ordering another.

Everyone needs a dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) I needed a compact dictionary, and this has been very good for my studies. I think everyone needs a good dictionary to help with spelling and to increase vocabulary.

searching for all the words

Even with the invention of the internet, every house should have a dictionary. There's a couple books everyone should have, and the dictionary is one of them. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary is small enough to fit inside a small cabinet, but big enough to find most of the words you want to search for. Obviously many words aren't included, but most of the words not included aren't used by most people anyway. So, if someone says a word you haven't heard and you want to look it up, most likely that word will be in here.

Ready reference: a standard for common, nonliterary usage

The best pocket-sized, paperback dictionary of American English. With 70,000 words, this dictionary abridges the 215,000-word "Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary" (which, in turn, abridges the 445,000-word "Webster's Third New International Dictionary Unabridged"). The name "Webster's" long ago passed into the public domain, but these three dictionaries--and the Merriam-Webster brand--are the lineal descendants of Noah Webster's original nineteenth-century dictionaries, the first dictionaries of American English, which have been in print continuously for almost two centuries.I keep this paperback handy on my desk for ready reference (along with a thesaurus, a style manual, and a usage dictionary). On the shelf nearby, I keep a more extensive basic reference set, including the heftier hardbound "Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary," of which this paperback version is a subset. This dictionary is highly abridged, thus not the most appropriate reference if you are looking for a word's detailed etymology, for an obscure word, or for thoroughness. But when writing for a nonliterary audience, when clear and simple communication is the goal, this book is a good check against writing that is getting too high and mighty. If a word does not appear here, I think twice about using it, keeping in mind the Fowler brothers' first "general principle" of good writing: "Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched."If you are buying one and only one dictionary, go with the hardbound "Collegiate Dictionary": it is more complete, yet stays within the realm of familiar words. But if you can manage, I recommend stocking both that dictionary and this one. Keep the hardbound version on the shelf, within reach, and consult it as necessary; but keep this one at your fingertips, and consult it routinely.

The Book with All the Words!

The Merriam-Webster dictionary continues the fine tradition of dictionaries being the only books containing all (or an abridged portion, in this case) of the words in a particular language (here, English). From "aardvark" to "zytol", you can find it here.The style of writing takes some getting used to. Merriam and Webster use a kind of stop-and-go, highly punctuated style of writing that makes the reader stop and think about each element and its place in the work as a whole. Some things about the book are mildly confusing, such as the fact that new characters are introduced at the rate of 30-50 per page, all the way through the book. Some of them are complex, like "Pneumoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis", while others are common and transparent, like "the". All the characters come together in the end to form an amazingly realistic portrait of the living organism known as the English language.I don't want to spoil the plot, but Merriam and Webster have done some amazing things with explaining words using other words, and also with incorporating every known word in the english language in the style of past dictionarial masters. A can't-stop journey from start to finish, for sure.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary Mentions in Our Blog

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary in Increasing Your Vocabulary on National Dictionary Day
Increasing Your Vocabulary on National Dictionary Day
Published by Bianca Smith • October 16, 2017
October 16 is National Dictionary Day - a booklover’s dream day. No, we’re not going to proclaim the differences between Merriam-Webster and Oxford. Did you know that reading increases your vocabulary?
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