Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Jacketed, Navy Kivar, Unindexed)
(62 customer reviews)
This version of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, is plain-edged, jacketed, with a navy kivar binding. Updated annually, the current 2001 copyright gives you up-to-date coverage of the words you need today. This dictionary contains more than 215,000 clear and precise definitions, 700 illustrations and separate sections for geographical and biographical names, as well as a Handbook of Style. Over 55 million copies of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary have been sold, spanning a time period of over 100 years.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #1033708 in Books
- Published on: 2001-05
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Binding: Hardcover
- 1600 pages
The 1998 10th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary marks the 100th anniversary of this distinguished and popular reference standard, and this is more than just an interesting statistic--it means that Merriam-Webster brings years of experience and reams of citation files to the creation of this latest edition. Improving on their last dictionary, they've added more than 100 pictorial illustrations and supplemented the synonym paragraphs with examples. Along with the English dictionary, which forms the heart of the reference, the editors at Merriam-Webster have included a brief introduction to the English language and a history of the English dictionary, a guide to pronunciation, and a series of appendices that include chemical element abbreviations and symbols, foreign words and phrases, extensive sections with biographical and geographical names, signs and symbols, and a handbook of style.
But getting back to the book itself--it's impressively comprehensive for a collegiate dictionary, with more than 215,000 definitions. Each item includes a pithy wealth of information, with first usage date, etymology, and pronunciation, and clear, precise definitions. In addition, there are often usage notes, synonym cross-references, illustrative quotations, variant spellings and pronunciations, regional labels, and information on capitalization, function, and inflections. Then there are the extra touches. Under bible, for example, there's a chart detailing books of the Old Testament, Jewish Scripture, Protestant apocrypha, and books of the New Testament. Under months is a table listing the months of the principal calendars--Gregorian, Jewish, and Islamic. And wonderful line drawings illustrate terms such as mackerel, lyrebird, hedgehog, and the ancient Celtic stringed instrument known as a crowd. All this makes it a valuable reference--detailed enough for editors and writers, accessible enough for students and casual definition seekers, updated with the new vocabulary of technology, and rigorous enough for the linguistic perfectionists. --Stephanie Gold
From Library Journal
Despite a change in title, this volume supersedes Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (1983) as the latest in a nearly 100-year-old line of college desk diction aries from Merriam-Webster. New editions in this series have appeared about every ten years since 1898. The tenth edition documents the changes in the language of the past decade with an additional 10,000 new meanings and words. It continues and expands the feature of "usage paragraphs" introduced in the ninth edition. These short essays explain how problem words are used in the language; thorny words and phrases such as irregardless , forte (one syllable or two?), hone in on , alright vs. all right , and hundreds more are given special attention. There is no retreat here from the descriptive philosophy that made Webster's Third New International Dictionary so controversial. This edition describes and illuminates use without labeling right and wrong. The comprehensive vocabulary presents a thoughtful mix of the new and the old. As in the previous edition, there are separate appendixes of abbreviations, foreign words and phrases, biographical names, geographical names, signs and symbols, and a handbook of style. To make room for new words, the appendix list of colleges and universities present in the ninth edition has been deleted. The inclusion of a first date of use for almost every entry is another welcome innovation. The dictionary is printed on good, heavy paper; the type is sharp although the pages are tightly packed to the point of being cramped. The binding of the deluxe edition is durable and sturdy. This is one of the (if not the ) best among the college dictionaries; recommended for all libraries large and small. Other good choices are Random House Webster's College Dictionary (1991) and Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (1988). For those wanting a more prescriptive college dictionary, a new arrival, the American Heritage College Dictionary Third Edition (1993), derived from the unabridged dictionary of the same name, is the right choice.
- Paul D'Alessandro, Portland P. L. , Me.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
The Merriam brothers desired a continuity of editorship that would link Noah Webster's efforts with their own editions, so they selected Chauncey A. Goodrich, Webster's son-in-law and literary heir, who had been trained in lexicography by Webster himself, to be their editor in chief. Webster's son William also served as an editor of that first Merriam-Webster dictionary, which was published on September 24, 1847.
Although Webster's work was honored, his big dictionaries had never sold well. The 1828 edition was priced at a whopping $20; in 13 years its 2,500 copies had not sold out. Similarly, the 1841 edition, only slightly more affordable at $15, moved slowly. Assuming that a lower price would increase sales, the Merriams introduced the 1847 edition at $6, and although Webster's heirs initially questioned this move, extraordinary sales that brought them $250,000 in royalties over the ensuing 25 years convinced them that the Merriams' decision had been abundantly sound.
The first Merriam-Webster dictionary was greeted with wide acclaim. President James K. Polk, General Zachary Taylor (hero of the Mexican War and later president himself), 31 U.S. senators, and other prominent people hailed it unreservedly. In 1850 its acceptance as a resource for students began when Massachusetts ordered a copy for every school and New York placed a similar order for 10,000 copies to be used in schools throughout the state. Eventually school use would spread throughout the country. In becoming America's most trusted authority on the English language, Merriam-Webster dictionaries had taken on a role of public responsibility demanded of few other publishing companies.
Most helpful customer reviews
93 of 94 people found the following review helpful.
The original Webster's is still the best one!
By TestMagic Inc.
Noah Webster wrote the first American English dictionary in the 1806 and his name has come to be synonymous with the word "dictionary" in the US. As a result, every dictionary in the US that wants to make any sales calls itself a "Webster's."
The M-W, however, is the original and still the best. I have every major American English dictionary in publication, and several British dictionaries, including the Random House, the Webster's 3rd (the unabridged dictionary), Microsoft's dictionary, the Oxford Dictionary, and several learner's dictionaries.
Frankly, the differences among the top three,i.e., the M-W, the Random House, and the Microsoft (on CD), are not that great--choose a word like "efficiency" and see how each is defined. You might think they were all working together. That said, I have so say the M-W is still my favorite. Further, the M-W dictionary is consistently rated #1 in surveys of academics and language scholar.
I am a professional language and test preparation instructor and rely on good dictionaries for precise definitions of words. The M-W consistently gives clear, accurate dictionaries and apposite examples. One extra feature that helps word lovers like me understand the words better is that M-W lists definitions in the order that they came into use, with the most recent usage last. This type of listing is extremely helpful for understanding how a word has evolved and what it is about that word that remains and what is not essential to the meaning. Such an understanding of words is essential for GRE and SAT preparation and is one of the main reasons I regularly turn to the M-W.
In short, it's your best option for an American English dictionary.
86 of 88 people found the following review helpful.
An exemplary lexical reference -- for the most part.
By A Customer
In it's promotional materials, Merriam-Webster takes pride in its large scholarly editorial staff, and huge citation files. In fact, it is a company devoted to producing high quality scholarly references, and its pride is justified.
Because no dictionary can include everything, the art of producing a fine dictionary is the art of choosing wisely, what to include and what not to incorporate. Some desk dictionaries are too concerned with inflating their word stock with esoteric chemical names and proper nouns, leaving little room for the true lexical entries you are more likely to investigate. Some of these books only give a few near-synonyms to define a word. Others fill valuable space with thumb nail photos, which are fine if you want a picture book.
Merriam-Webster's 10th Collegiate chooses its word stock with care. It uses font sizes and page space judiciously and therefore offers more of the information one is likely to want. It provides carefully crafted definitions, based on citational research that reveals the subtlety of connotation as well as the more obvious denoted sense.
M-W's illustrative phrases are excellent, with many cited from literature. The word stock is extensive as well as current. The synonym studies are truly useful, revealing the fine shades of difference between the synonyms listed. The usage notes are based on citational evidence, not on the opinion of elitist "usage panels". When a word's usage is at issue, this dictionary gives you the facts, not opinion. It's dating of the first known appearance of words is perhaps not essential, but it is a welcome feature lending historical interest to the entries.
I have only one complaint about this otherwise exemplary dictionary. It's treatment of trademark entries reveals a reluctance to report the actual usage of such terms. Taking the safe approach, it reports for example that 'band-aid' is always to be capitalized, thus: 'Band-Aid', and it defines it only in its most limited sense:
"Band-Aid: trademark--used for a small adhesive strip with a gauze pad for covering minor wounds"...Trademark issues aside, this is the desk dictionary of choice. If you have never owned a Merriam-Webster Collegiate, you will be pleasantly surprised to learn how much better a desk dictionary can be. Use this reference for a year or so, and you will seldom bother with other dictionaries. If you care about the English language and value its mastery, this dictionary will inspire a passion for it.
The standard edition with its bright red dust jacket, is a handsome and rugged volume. This invaluable reference is bound in sturdy boards with a durable linen covering. The thin paper stock results in a thinner volume, yet it contains more substance than the bulky thick competing books.
168 of 179 people found the following review helpful.
Thorough and well-written, with useful features
By Mike Christie
This is a very high quality collegiate dictionary. I am a member of a word puzzle organization (puzzlers.org) and this is our standard reference, along with the unabridged version, "Webster's Third New International Dictionary". Many very obscure words show up in puzzles, but it is relatively rare I find I have to go to the unabridged dictionary to look them up.
In addition to being thorough (with excellent sections on abbreviations, foreign words and phrases (such as "en plein jour" or "inshallah") it includes compressed but informative etymological data. For example, the entry on "spacious" has this - ME, fr. MF spacieux, fr. L spatiosus, space, room -- more at SPEED (14c)"; in a little over a single line you get the lineage, with a reference to yet more information. You may have to learn some of the abbreviations (Middle English, Middle French, 14th century) but I found them generally intuitive and didn't need to look them up much at all.
In addition, there are excellent usage paragraphs scattered throughout. These are of two types. One type compares the usage of different words with very similar meanings. For example, the entry on "satiate" provides a usage paragraph that compares "satiate", "sate", "surfeit", "cloy", "pall", "glut" and "gorge", identifying the precise differences of usage between them. The paragraph is cross-referenced at each of the other six words, so you don't have to just stumble across satiate to find it.
The other kind of usage paragraph discusses correctness. A good example is "hopefully", which in its sense "I hope that" is controversial. The dictionary asserts the validity of this controversial use, which is sure to annoy some purists, but it does acknowledge the debate and cite grammatical arguments for its position.
The dictionary is available online, and I strongly recommend you take a look at it. There is a CD-ROM for sale too, which is worth getting as it adds some fancy search features, though if you're like me you'll want the paper version to keep by the bed.See all 62 customer reviews...