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The Oxford Reverse Dictionary (Oxford Paperback Reference) [Paperback]

David Edmonds
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Feb 2002 Oxford Paperback Reference
How do you find those elusive words that you just can't bring to mind but are on the tip of your tongue? Can you remember the word used to describe a fear of heights? Do you know the word for the plastic used for gramophone records? What is the word for a water slide at a swimming pool? The Oxford Reverse Dictionary will help you find words you can't remember whereas a thesaurus will find alternatives to a word that you know. Words are grouped by subject-related key words, for example lapdog, pack, retriever, and hackles can all be found under the key word dog. -- Contains 31,000 entries listed under a wide range of subject areas and key words -- Ideal for crossword and other word game lovers who want to find the words that they are looking for -- A perfect vocabulary builder, it gives information on related adjectives, irregular plurals, and combining forms


Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; New edition edition (21 Feb 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192801139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192801135
  • Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.1 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 895,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

David Edmonds is a freelance lexicographer. He compiled the Reverse Dictionary supplement in the Oxford Compact Thesaurus.

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Oxford Reverse Dictionary 17 Feb 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The Oxford Reverse dictionary is designed to find the word you just can't recall from your memory. In theory it should help someone who cannot remember a specific word come up with the desired word. The book is designed for the reader to find a word through a linked heading. For instance, in theory on finds 'halter' under 'horse.' Unfortunately, words of a higher vocabulary level do not necessarily appear in the book. Therefore the dictionary is very limited and only advisable for school-aged children, and not for anyone of a university level or professional level.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good for Plain English 10 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is helpful when trying for clear communication. It helps when trying to use vigorous verbs to make writing less foggy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just what my granddaughter wanted 24 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book arrived within a couple of days my granddaughter loves it she uses it all the time for doing her homework and for testing me out with lists of words she has discovered.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oxford Reverse Dictionary 17 Feb 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The Oxford Reverse dictionary is designed to find the word you just can't recall from your memory. In theory it should help someone who cannot remember a specific word come up with the desired word. The book is designed for the reader to find a word through a linked heading. For instance, in theory on finds 'halter' under 'horse.' Unfortunately, words of a higher vocabulary level do not necessarily appear in the book. Therefore the dictionary is very limited and only advisable for school-aged children, and not for anyone of a university level or professional level.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Boon for the Writer/Poet! 1 July 2000
By Manuel Figuroa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
So often I'll have a word I need "on the tip of my tongue" and then it disappears. The Oxford Reverse Dictionary is a marvelous source for finding those elusive words. The other day I wanted the word for pig intestines used as food, so I looked under "pig" and there it was: "chitterlings." I find this an indispensable resource.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Oddly Useful 1 Jan 2007
By D. S. Heersink - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This useful, albeit odd, frustrating, and confusing reference work for the ostensible purposes of finding "associated" words can be more disappointing than useful. Example (1): I was looking for the word "Eucharist" -- as if one could forget such a word -- but it does not exist in this "dictionary," not under "Holy Communion" not under "Mass not under "Eucharist." Perhaps a hundred years ago, this word might not roll off the tip of a reverse dictionary, but for more than sixty years it has been the preferred appellation for all these "other" associated words. Example (2): I was looking for the name of a particular "pathology," but no entry for the word "pathology" exists. I pondered a while, and then my own reverse brain suggested "disease," a viola, "disease" has a host of pathologies. But even "disease" does not suggest . . . .

Two "features" of this reverse dictionary are baffling. The "associated" words are in bold, but the associated word's definition PRECEDES the word. Okay, this is a reversed world. Worse, perhaps, is how the "associations" are determined. Alphabetically would have been my obvious choice, since words are words, however associated. Not here, readers. The "associations" are by the editors' "degree of proximity." Proximity to what, you ask? Proximity to THEIR degree of association of words without any one else's reasons. Besides being entirely "arbitrary" (if not a bit egocentric), how can such "proximities" be determined, and assuming some standard could be found, how could anyone communicate those standards to those who are already in a search for what they cannot speak, mention, or find?

Alas, I almost threw this book in the fireplace. If any of us thought "plot" might be associated with "story," we'd be wrong. If we thought "plot" might be associated with "narrative," we'd again be wrong. So what do these editors associate "plot" with? I'm serious: "machination, Machiavellian, wheel-and-deal, synopsis." At least the "Ms" are together, even if nothing else is. The irony, here, is that the first-three "tangents" make more sense than "synopsis." How does synopsis relate to plot, and why aren't story and narrative a part of the plot? Because the "plot" is reversed against the user too stupid to find the association in the first place, if you don't object to reading explication before what's being explicated, that is.

Still, all these odd features notwithstanding, this book is sometimes useful, despite itself. But between you, me, and OUP, I suggest Random House's "Word Menu." Not quite the same, but certainly far more useful.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hunting Down the Elusive Word 10 Aug 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Turtleback
The Oxford Reverse Dictionary converges on the elusive word you canft bring to mind or do not know. It letfs you take a round about route by applying a concept, or asking a question to find the word you want. For example you probably canft recall the name of Japanese acupuncture. I thought of puncturing the skin with needles, but neither puncturing nor needles got me very far but it did raise the question, what is it? A treatment, this entry led me to the keyword therapy: shiatsu. You canft do that either with dictionary or thesaurus. I wondered whether there was a word to describe the fear of number thirteen. Under the keyword fear: triskaidekaphobia.
The Oxford Reverse Dictionary groups words by subject-related keywords: for example organ, advertorial, kill, D notice, silly season, chequebook journalism can all be found under the keyword: newspaper. A helpful feature is the apt and succinct and right-on-target definition that precedes every word or phrase. Taking a word out of the above list for example silly season is defined as high summer, when there is a dearth of serious news.
Presented in the most ideal format yet compiled to find and learn new words. Keywords are in bold print to assist with going back and forth from text to monitor to notes so you get the information you need in the shortest and easiest fashion. The typeset, layout, choice of paper and heft of the ORD will soon make it familiar and comfortable and a word tool of choice of the student, writer, crossword buff and anyone whose business is words. - - This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good on Your Reference Shelf 23 Jun 2009
By John S. Hull - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you like to search for the exactly right word, if you don't believe there's such things as synonyms, if you just love the language and enjoy browsing to learn things you don't know, then you'll enjoy this.

Five stars because I'm a sucker for the sorites paradox: it doesn't top the list of must-have language references, but it's still a darn good addition to a competent reference shelf.

If you're looking for a first word reference beyond a dictionary and a thesaurus, get the Random House Webster's Word Menu (Random House Newer Words Faster).
4.0 out of 5 stars The product is a little bit old, but the customer service is wonderful! 1 Mar 2013
By HO KA KI ALAN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The product is a little bit old, but the customer service is wonderful! I complaint about the product quality and they provide rapid respond!
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