Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition
|Price:||$19.23 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25. Details|
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com
(420 customer reviews)
The Eleventh Edition of America's best-selling dictionary! An attractive burgundy leather-look version featuring more than 225,000 clear and precise definitions and newly added words and meanings. Special sections include A Handbook of Style, Foreign Words and Phrases, and Biographical Names and Geographical Names. Includes an electronic version of the dictionary and a free one-year online subscription. Current copyright 2011.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #27962 in Books
- Size: 1664
- Brand: Merriam-Webster
- Model: MER9
- Published on:
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: 1.90" h x 7.40" w x 9.90" l, .86 pounds
- Binding: Hardcover
- 1664 pages
- Binding: Hardcover
- Language(s): English
- Number of Pages [Nom]: 1664
- Post-Consumer Recycled Content Percent [Nom]: 0 %
- Pre-Consumer Recycled Content Percent [Nom]: 0 %
*Starred Review* The first Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (M-W) was published in 1898, and the tenth edition had a copyright date of 1993. The eleventh edition brings many new words, a CD-ROM, and a free one-year subscription to Merriam-Webster Collegiate.com, which includes the text of the dictionary as well as the Collegiate Thesaurus, Collegiate Encyclopedia, and Merriam-Webster's Spanish-English Dictionary.
Now for the numbers. M-W has a paper file of 15,700,000 citations from which their lexicographers chose 10,000 new words, for a total of 165,000 entries and 225,000 definitions. There are 100,000 "changes" from the tenth edition. Users asked for more usage examples and idioms and phrases, so there are now 40,000 examples and a "significant" increase in idioms. There are 91,000 pronunciations, 33,000 etymologies, 2,700 illustrative quotations, 650 foreign words and phrases, and 700 illustrations.
As the world rushes on, so does the time taken for words to become accepted. It used to be at least ten years before a new word was considered for inclusion; now it may take as few as four years. M-W staff certainly have become the purveyors of the words that we use. Terms added to this edition include Botox, comb-over, crunch-exercise, dead-cat bounce, dead presidents, dead tree, def, exfoliant, gimme cap, identity theft, phat, and tweener. As would be expected, some entries had to be eliminated because words are invented faster than they go out of favor. Anyone seeking definitions of record changer and pantdress will need an unabridged or older dictionary.
M-W still includes separate sections for geographical and biographical names, but abbreviations are now interfiled in the main section. Perhaps the next edition will interfile the other two sections.
Criticisms of the eleventh edition are mostly cosmetic. The use of photographs and shaded boxes for usage notes would make it more attractive to users. There are, however, more than 200 new black-and-white line drawings. The Col legiate Dictionary's closest competitor, the American Heritage College Dictionary (4th ed.), published last year, makes good use of photographs and illustrations in the margins. It contains a number of words (gangsta, goth) that are also new to this edition of M-W.
The online version has a number of search options, including a reverse dictionary (if you can think of the correct words), the etymology of words, and those that are the same part of speech. The most interesting option is the date feature. Paging through the words attributed to a particular year is a definite retrospective of recollections. Words of 1980 include balsamic vinegar, exit poll, NIMBY, and ziplock. An improvement to the online version would be a search button so the back button doesn't need to be used as much. It would be less cumbersome if the illustrations were included with the definitions rather than requiring another click. Because the one-year free subscription to the online version is only mentioned on the dust jacket, some users will fail to see it. Unfortunately, the free subscription is not available free to libraries or schools. One wonders if the CD-ROM is really necessary because it provides only basic searching.
For serious dictionary collections and fans of dictionaries from this venerable publisher, now in partnership with Britannica, the eleventh edition is a definite buy. With a list price of $25.95, it is a bargain for individuals. Libraries with limited budgets that purchased the American Heritage College Dictionary in 2002 may not need another college dictionary this year. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Sets a high standard for future desk reference. --Library Journal
A road map to where English is headed -- The Village Voice
At last the ease of the Internet combined with the authority of a trusted name in reference. --BookPage
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
214 of 219 people found the following review helpful.
Kindle Version - Incomplete
By Stacy Lash
I recently purchased an I-pad hoping that it would save me some money on college textbooks. It was with great excitement that I downloaded the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (Kindle Edition). Not only was it less expensive, it seemed ideal in the sense that I could search it using keywords and not by flipping pages. I am taking an editing course and my very first assignment proved to me that I should have purchased the actual text version, as the vast majority of the words I looked up, were nowhere to be found on this version. My instructor's print version contained acronyms and a variety of other words that I simply could not find anywhere on the Kindle version. I felt like an idiot. And these were just the first few words I was required to look up in the very first paragraph. A quick online search brought these words up immediately in the online MW free dictionary. But, I paid for this dictionary and it's supposedly the same version as the print, yet it's incomplete. Save your money and the hassle of having to buy both versions (what I ended up doing after the Kindle version failed to bring any words that I needed to look-up up) and just get it in print. The Kindle version will NOT have the same entries, nor even the entire dictionary including appendixes, keys, legends and reference material.
255 of 264 people found the following review helpful.
superb reference tool
This is a fine dictionary. It even smells good. Too hefty to be portable, it is nevertheless a perfect desk dictionary, starting with a seventeen-page explanatory chart and notes, an essay on the English language, and a guide to pronunciation. te volume continues with excellent definitions that are sometimes accompanied by b&w line drawings, and finishes with sections on foreign words & phrases, biographical names, geographical names, signs & symbols in various fields of endeavo, punctuation, capitals & italics, documenting sources, forms of address and an index. [..]
This is the most comprehensive collegiate dictionary to date, with many new entries since 1996's tenth edition, and it is well organized wih a nice clean font (though it may be a bit troublesome for those who are far-sighted). It always amazes me that we can purchase so much information so inexpensively. This is a terrific resource -- it's time to update your dictionary!!
252 of 262 people found the following review helpful.
Nice updating for the standard shorter American dictionary
By Robert Moore
For several decades now, THE MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY has served as the standard American English dictionary. I have done a good deal of copyediting over the years, and every publisher I have worked with has specified this dictionary (along with the Webster's Unabridged) as the standard governoring the way that American English words are spells and defined. Although one can feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of dictionaries in the reference section of any good bookstore, this volume is as close to authoritative as we have in the United States. One might have a preference for another, but this is the only one that enjoys widespread authoritative acceptance.
The dust jacket explains the ways that the new 11th edition has been expanded, but personally, while I am quite certain that it has been expanded, I have not noticed a great deal of difference from the 10th edition. It may be definitive and improved, but most of the improvements will be difficult for anyone to detect. The new CD-ROM included with it, however, is a vast improvement on the previous software that was developed based on the 10th edition. When the 10th edition first came out, CD software was not widely available. A CD version of the dictionary did eventually come out, but it was somewhat rudimentary. The new CD-ROM, however, is a huge improvement. For instance, when looking up any word, a column will display a number of words that approximate the word that your are attempting to look up. If you can merely approximate the spelling, you can frequently find the correct word. Furthermore, by double clicking on any word in the online dictionary, you will pull up the listing for that word. The CD-ROM also has a link to the Internet.
Let's face it. Buying dictionaries for most people is about as exciting as having one's oil changed. But like oil changes, dictionaries are essential. For the foreseeable future, this one is going to remain the definitive American English dictionary.See all 420 customer reviews...