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220 of 227 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear layout, accurate definitions, easy to use
Just to clear up any confusion you might have: this is a very different dictionary to the Oxford English Dictionary. This work (the New Oxford Dictionary of English - commonly abbreviated as the NODE) is intended as a reference for contemporary English usage; hence, for instance, it contains a definition for "minger" and defines "they" as both the third person plural and...
Published on 31 Jan 2006 by willerz

versus
153 of 175 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not the real thing.
Whilst the massive Oxford English Dictionary is the king of dictionaries, don't be misled into expecting the Oxford brand to be preeminent at the single-volume level. If you need a dictionary in one volume, your first choice should certainly be Chambers. This is particularly true if you have any interest in Scrabble or crosswords, for both of which Chambers, with its wide...
Published on 6 Jan 2004 by bunstance


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220 of 227 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear layout, accurate definitions, easy to use, 31 Jan 2006
Just to clear up any confusion you might have: this is a very different dictionary to the Oxford English Dictionary. This work (the New Oxford Dictionary of English - commonly abbreviated as the NODE) is intended as a reference for contemporary English usage; hence, for instance, it contains a definition for "minger" and defines "they" as both the third person plural and third person non-gender-specific singular pronoun. If you believe that dictionaries should be prescriptive rather than descriptive this will be anathema to you. If, however, you belong to the descriptive camp (or indeed want to understand what your grandchildren are saying) you'll love it.
The dictionary is layed out in 3 columns per page, the columns are about the right width for my taste but if you're used to large 2-column dictionaries you mat find them too small.
A nice touch is the vowel and consonant pronunciation symbol guides; they're repeated in the bottom margin throughout the book, which makes looking them up a lot more convenient than if they were hidden in an appendix. I also like the markers for each letter which are visible from the outside, they make finding the right place from scratch a lot more convenient.
The binding is very good: the dictionary stays open at the page you left it, and the central margins are wide enough that there is no difficulty reading to the edges of the inner columns. The paper is quite thin, as it has to be to fit 2088 pages into a reasonable-sized volume; that said, the pages are nicely opaque and it doesn't feel as though they will be easily torn in normal use.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic buy., 13 Mar 2010
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This product was a lot cheaper on Amazon than anywhere else I looked. One of the reasons I was keen to buy it was to have a reference book with which I could check the spelling of words such as focussed, focussing, travelled, travelling, and traveller where the consonants are sometimes doubled and sometimes not. The dictionary was perfect for that purpose. It has all the present participles and past tense spellings of words and is thus a vital tool in the fight against the American spell-checker. It's a very large item and the print is big and easy to read. It has over two thousand pages in it and you might be well advised to check that they are all there. When I purchased the product from another retailer there were thirty five pages missing, and I only discovered this when I was unable to find the word 'occurrence' in it. I only paid 19.99 on Amazon for it though, and I notice it's gone up to 26.49.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful World of Words, 26 Oct 2009
By 
J. Davis "John Davis" (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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If it says 'Oxford' on it, it's worth a look. The 'Oxford Dictionary of English' is my well-thumbed resource for the definition and description of just about any word I seek. It's not the most complete dictionary of English, but for everyday desk use it's almost perfect. It's not a replacement for a good thesaurus or style guide. The 9pt serif type on a bright white background is quite legible. The book is 11 x 8.5 x 2.5 inches, and weighs about 5lbs. There are 2,054 pages of actual dictionary, in addition to front and back matter. The binding needs to be stronger, and the slick paper jacket slips and rips with constant one-handed retrieval from the shelf, so you might want to take it off.

The American usage version -- almost a necessity nowadays for writers and editors -- has identical specs.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have, 12 April 2012
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B. Cooper "magic of the mind" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This is the best (and biggest) dictionary that I have ever owned, with the bonus addition of encyclopaedia entries and reference pages in the middle. It's a steal at this price.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable for school college or just curiosity, 4 Sep 2011
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Dictionary and part encyclopedia (also spelt: encyclopaedia) as a reference tool this is fantastic. I am doing an Open University degree and this dictionary is a must, it provides complete definitions and guides on word usage. If you like provoking an argument amongst language snobs this is a mine of useful ammunition. Every curious mind should have a copy.
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82 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE single volume dictionary of English, 16 Oct 2004
Precise, comprehensive, meticulous, rich: for extent and scope - the only single volume dictionary of English to own.
Editors Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson have revised and updated the pioneering work of Judy Pearsall (Editor) and Patrick Hanks (Chief Editor, Current English Dictionaries) who led production of the outstanding 'The New Oxford Dictionary of English' in 1998.
This revision builds upon that body of work - adding 3,000 fresh words, senses and phrases. The editors and their team drew upon a new 100 million word Oxford English corpus. As with the 1998 dictionary, it focuses its definitions on current usage.
What gives this indispensable breadth and depth is its layout of core senses and subsenses within each definition and the provision of word history: etymology (word origin) and morphology (word form) as well as reference to development of both sense and form.
This provides a rich reference work that would strengthen anyone's vocabulary and sharpen accuracy of expression.
Surely as a living language flows through everyday life, such dictionaries help fight the mudslides?
Its sibling Thesaurus is equally worthwhile, having also undergone useful revision and improvement.
This edition also adds usage guidance where prudent and includes new Appendices: a very useful 'Guide to Good English' and encyclopaedia like information (including: countries and their capitals; States of the USA; weights & measures; punctuation marks; alphabets; the chemical elements; data on the solar system; proofreading marks; Prime Ministers and Presidents; Internet Forum & Chatroom keystroke emoticons :~) and shorthand ('FYI' etc); collective nouns; and even categories of wind forces!).
While it might retain the typical dryness and staidness of the OED, this volume surely sets a global standard for single volume works. The OED might occasionally omit some shades of meaning in current usage and be slow to take up new words due to its staff being too academic by nature and somewhat out of touch with new informal usages and words entering the language.
Would a cyberskiving chav own a dictionary? ; P
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of its class, 1 Oct 2009
By 
Peter Biddlecombe "peterbiddlecombe" (Bucks, UK) - See all my reviews
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[This review is based on the 2005 2nd edition. I'm confident that the 2010 3rd edition will be just as good.]

Beats the competition (Chambers Dictionary, Collins English Dictionary) on price (when I wrote this ...) and on competence as a dictionary. The encyclopaedic entries are better than Collins (which ignores people for this purpose) and Chambers which simply doesn't have any.

Definitions are clear, there are 20-odd appropriate appendices, and some daft stories like "Port out, Starboard home" are quietly dealt with. Sample definition differences: "axel" (ice skating jump) - Oxford and Collins name the edges involved, whereas Chambers just says "from one skate to the other"; trombone (shape thereof): Chambers has the tube "bent twice on itself, with a slide", Collins has "a tube, the effective length of which is varied by means of a U-shaped slide", and Oxford has "straight tubing in three sections, ending in a bell over the player's left shoulder, different fundamental notes being made using a forward-pointing extendable slide". Oxford's seems clearest, with "extendable" a crucially important word in conveying what happens, and the right sense of "bell" clearly explained too.

There are informative usage notes dealing with issues like the difference between life assurance and life insurance, the incorrectness of "you should of asked" (under "of", and cross-referenced under "should"), confusions like site/sight and your/you're, sensitive stuff like Lapp/Sami, informal words like "innit", and grammar niggles like "a sandwich or other snack is included" vs. "a sandwich and other snack are included". Looking at a random selection of these, every one seems both appropriate and based on experience of mistakes that people make or questions that often arise. There are also short factual notes about all sorts of topics - as the dictionary's introduction recognises, these are arguably content for an encyclopaedia rather than a dictionary, but they don't seem to get in the way. Examples: blood - what it's made of and what roles the components play, and its former role as a "bodily humour"; Beethoven - his main works, special nature of the 9th symphony, and bridging role between classical and romantic movements; Barium - what some of its compounds are used for; Bangladesh - dates when it broke away from Pakistan and joined the Commonwealth; black holes - a crisp explanation of how they ("probably") work.

All-in-all great compromise between the scholarship of the OED and the common sense of the Concise Oxford. Unless you're mad about crosswords or other word games based on Chambers, once you've got this you're set up with a dictionary which will serve all purposes for a couple of decades at least.

It may seem odd that there's no "Look Inside" option for this book. But there's great substitute - if you search the web for "Oxford Dictionaries", you'll find the new Oxford Dictionaries Online website which uses this dictionary as its source (for the "World English" option).
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153 of 175 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not the real thing., 6 Jan 2004
Whilst the massive Oxford English Dictionary is the king of dictionaries, don't be misled into expecting the Oxford brand to be preeminent at the single-volume level. If you need a dictionary in one volume, your first choice should certainly be Chambers. This is particularly true if you have any interest in Scrabble or crosswords, for both of which Chambers, with its wide range of interesting archaic and dialect words, is the definitive work in the UK.
That said, there is nothing especially wrong with this Oxford offering, but you should think hard about whether its gimmicks, like the usage tips that crop up in little boxes, are valuable enough to earn it a place as your second dictionary. You might be better off saving the money towards serious multi-volume work like the Shorter Oxford Dictionary or, for an American dimension, Webster's Third New International Dictionary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oxford Dictionary, 22 Nov 2013
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One of my most treasured books - love it. Have always owned smaller editions and finally got round to making this purhase. You cannot compare the usefullness of this book with anything online. It is more than a dictionary its an understanding of the English language.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, just as expected and desired, 17 Dec 2010
I was looking for a comprehensive English Dictionary which was not too big, but would assist our family games of scrabble instead of my Grandmothers tatty dictionary. It was an excellent choice and a great addition to the book shelf.

Highly recommended.
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