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87 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More words than any other single-book competitor
I wanted to find out the meaning of the word "mommet" that crops up in Hardy's "Tess of the Durbevilles". I looked through increasingly large versions of the Oxford English Dictionary, and only found it eventually in the two-volume Shorter Oxford. However, when I turned to my Chambers Dictionary, it was right there.
The point being, Chambers' style of categorising...
Published on 10 Dec. 2003 by J. Knight

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Dictionary
Unfortunately a few of the pages were missing but in general it will suit the purpose it was bought for.
Published 21 months ago by R E HOPE


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87 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More words than any other single-book competitor, 10 Dec. 2003
By 
J. Knight "extabgrad" (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I wanted to find out the meaning of the word "mommet" that crops up in Hardy's "Tess of the Durbevilles". I looked through increasingly large versions of the Oxford English Dictionary, and only found it eventually in the two-volume Shorter Oxford. However, when I turned to my Chambers Dictionary, it was right there.
The point being, Chambers' style of categorising words under similar roots allows it to cram far more into a single volume. If you want lots of words, rather than long, encyclopaedic and often repetitious, definitions, go for Chambers.
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all you'll ever need, 23 Oct. 2003
By 
Dr R Johnson (Porthcawl, Bridgend United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
The ultimate single volumed dictionary. This is the only dictionary you'll ever need: invaluable for all crossword and scrabble lovers. Don't be misled into buying the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, it's not as good as this one! Every home should have one very good dictionary and if you want one to serve you well for life then get this!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Watch out for the next edition, 8 July 2008
By 
Peter Biddlecombe "peterbiddlecombe" (Bucks, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
If you're about to buy this for crossword purposes, be aware that a new edition comes out on 22 August 2008. New editions of Chambers have appeared every 5 years since 1983 - the 2006 edition was an extra one to get the dictionary into the new 'corporate livery'. ISBN-10 for the new one is 0550103961. Puzzles like the Observer's Azed (most of which still use the 2003 edition as their reference as I write this) normally start to use the new edition around the beginning of the next calendar year, so you probably have time to ask for this as a Christmas present.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best single-volume dictionary there is, 4 Jan. 2008
By 
This is the best single-volume dictionary of the English Language. If you know Chambers, then you need no persuading. If you don't, then it's time to get one.
It's the recommended reference for most of the best crosswords.

But look on Amazon at the thumb-index version of this dictionary, which should be more expensive, but for some reason is actually a few pounds cheaper. That's the one I've bought, and it's superb.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect crossword companion, 29 Jan. 2002
By 
M. N. Thakkar (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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The Chambers is the best available source of obscure dialect words, obsolete words from Spencer et al, and senses of ordinary words that have long been forgotten. It is this comprehensiveness that has made it the cruciverbalist's bible, particularly for crosswords of the more fiendish variety.
Qua dictionary, though, it is awkward to use compared to the various Oxford dictionaries (the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the New Oxford Dictionary of English, and the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, in order of size). Moreover, the famously amusing definitions are far and few.
In short, buy this dictionary if you have to - i.e., if you while away your time solving (or setting) crosswords, or if you delight in our language's paths less trod. Otherwise, your best one-volume bet is probably the New Oxford Dictionary of English.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Only One for Day to Day Use, 11 May 2003
By A Customer
I've used Chambers for more than forty years and love it with a passion. I still pick it up and read it from time to time, once a week at least. If you think these two points qualify me to be sectioned, all I can say is you can't have had the use and pleasure out of it that I have. It has answered so many what-does-that-mean questions, and helped with so many crossword queries, and brought up so many obscure words for scrabble....... Try it.
I think Oxford has more or less abandoned the territory to Chambers - I mean, of one-volume, comprehensive, practical, day to day dictionaries. (The Concise seems to me to have gone downmarket, so to speak). But, of course, if what you're after is the definitive etymology, the history of the use of the word, the widest range of meanings over its history, then I think you're bound to go to the Shorter Oxford or the OED itself. But then, that's work
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT THUMB INDEXED, 24 Nov. 2004
This review is from: The Chambers Dictionary: Thumb Index (Hardcover)
This is an excellent dictionary and certainly the most useful for crosswords and Scrabble. My only complaint is not with the book itself but the Amazon description. This is Not a Thumb Indexed version but merely has a ribbon marker to keep your place with. If you are not concerned with the ribbon marker, I'd recommend you buy the cheaper version, save a fiver or so and use your own book mark as I would have done had I not been mislead by this description.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 1 Sept. 2006
This is one great dictionary. Although not perfect (especially in persistant use of semicolons for sense differentation - here Oxford Dictionary of English is definitely more user-friendly) the Chambers Dictionary 10 ed. is definitely worth buying for its unbelievable richness of words. There are no encyclopedic entries but that only makes more room for new and specialized vocabulary. Still, I'd advise getting one more dictionary of this size like ODE, for comparison and as mentioned above for more user-friendly layout of the entry. I own both of these and I can say they complement each other perfectly
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chambers Dictionary, 24 Oct. 2001
By A Customer
The Chambers dictionary is always the best. Even as a little girl, I would prefer to use the Chambers rather than any of the others. It's fascinating! Not only is it an excellent dictionary but it also has a names section, and a foreign language quotes section. This version of the dictionary does not let the side down in any way. It's so much better than Collins or the Oxford!
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171 of 193 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dictionary with a yellow ribbon marker, 7 Mar. 2004
Ever since my grammar school days I have used only Oxford dictionaries. Purchasing the Chambers
makes me feel like I am having an affair with another. Is the Chambers worthy of the risk of a
long-lastig crisis of conscience?
Well, it is a very large tome. A tome with a ribbon marker; something which neither my Shorter
Oxford nor Concise Oxford have. More cabin baggage-on-a-trolley format than the Concise Oxford's
briefcase format.
The page layout is modern - the use of a san-serif font gives the page an uncluttered look. The
headwords are printed in bold letters and the rest in normal letters. The Concise Oxford uses a
serif font for the definitions, which I find better.
None other than Melvyn Bragg wrote a short Foreword. It is quite interesting, but one does get the
feeling that it is doing more to promote his book about the history of English than sing the praises
of the Chambers 9th.
Pronunciation is indicated by a system of respelling which, if you are used to the phonetic
alphabet, may be a problem. If, like me, the phonetic alphabet was the problem, the system of
respelling will come as a blessing.
The encyclopeadic content of some other dictionaries is more or less absent. The Oxford Paperback
English Dictionary has an entry about Stephen Leacock which you will not find in Chambers.
Similarly, you will not find usage panels with helpful hints and tips. I guess this is a dictionary
for advanced adults who rarely need guidance.
One of the selling-points of the Chambers is the coverage of older English words. I have not
checked to see how many there are. I normally grab the Shorter Oxford if I need to look up an
obscure word.
Now for some negative stuff. The couple of things mentioned above were more sources of
disappointment than losers of valuable marks. However, there are a couple of things which cause me
to intersperse the ticks with a couple of crosses. A word like EUROSTAR. How long has this fast
train been in service? Well, you will not find it mentioned in the Chambers 9th, but you will find
it in the Concise Oxford. As an aside: the Chambers Pocket Dictionary of 2001 does not even have
the word EURO! The first cross for the Chambers 9th.
The second cross I have given for the layout of the word entries. Chambers uses a block for the
headword and all related words. This text is, for some headwords quite daunting indeed. No use is
made of numbers to distinguish between the nuances of meaning; just play hunt the semicolon. All
derivatives of the headword are placed in that same block of text in bold letters. For shorter
entries that is no problem. Forlonger ones, it makes finding words a lot more tiresome. The word
ETHNIC will serve as an exampple. The adjective has in the Concise Oxford 4 numbered definitions,
plus just one for the noun form. All the derivatives of ethnic have their own headword entry down
the column. The Chambers has a block of text contiaing semi-colons for the main definition followed
by all the derivative in one large block. Total size of all that text: 7,5cm wide by 10,5 cm high!
If you really want a shock, turn to page 1375 and follow the entry for SELF- (it is one block of
text extending on to page 1377). This definitely is a dictionary for advanced adults.
The definitions are clear and helpful and do not really stand out from other dictionaries - at most
multiple definitions are ordered differently.
To sum up, this dictionary is ideal for adult masochists who neither need information about persons
or places, nor travel on the Eurostar nor mind searching for semi-colons instead of being presented
with numbered definitions. My relationship with this book is going to fall into the category
love-hate. A crisis of consicence will be the least of my problems; I will willingly rish one. I
will use Oxford when I am tired and Chambers when my morning coffee kicks in.
This dictionary deserves a place on your bookshelf. If in doubt, visit the Chambers website and
view the pdf file extract of this and all their dictionaries.
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The Chambers Dictionary: Thumb Index
The Chambers Dictionary: Thumb Index by Larousse Kingfisher Chambers (Hardcover - 4 Aug. 2003)
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