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The Chambers Dictionary (13th Edition) Hardcover – 22 Jul 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1920 pages
  • Publisher: Chambers; 13th Revised edition edition (22 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1473602254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1473602250
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 6.4 x 27.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,879 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

A monument to lexicographic excellence... radical, innovative and different--Independent

The traditional favourite dictionary of every serious cryptic solver and setter based in the UK

The most human of dictionaries

For many years now, Chambers have had a stronghold on the word game market. This dictionary is a pure delight to browse--www.word-buff.com

Chambers stands out like a baroque mansion in a city of faceless concrete

Chambers is an open door to words at their wittiest, most rooted, most revealing, and most powerful

Chambers is a marvel of wit, clarity and practicality--Observer

A page a day keeps the doddypolls at bay

The Chambers Dictionary is the most useful and diverting single-volume word-hoard available--Telegraph

Book Description

***Fully revised and updated February 2016 to include additional 'enriching' words***

The Chambers Dictionary has more definitions and sells more copies than any other single-volume hardback English dictionary.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. P. Long TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
As a keen Listener crossword solver, I buy a new copy of the Big Red Book every time it is released. The dictionary is still the best single-volume reference book available, and it's a must for crosswords and other word games, with a wide variety of obscure words that you won't find even in the (much larger) 2-volume Shorter Oxford. This edition restores the list of first names that were missing from the 12th edition, and removes the annoying supplement in the middle for "word lovers". However...

Due to a printing error, there are around 500 words missing from this edition that were in the 12th edition - they are the "enriching" words which were highlighted in that edition. They are still in the electronic versions of Chambers 13th edition available for computers and smartphones, but they aren't in this printed edition. Several people (myself included) have contacted Chambers to ask if this will be fixed - either by the publication of an errata slip or a reprinting, but no-one has yet had a reply.

Given the above, if you are still using the 12th edition, don't upgrade to this version yet - not until Chambers have had a chance to sort out the problem.
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Format: Hardcover
Don't buy this yet... apparently over 800 words have been missed out of this edition, accidentally, that were included in the previous edition. It is already available at a very substantial discount, and it can only get cheaper! The 12th edition has been badly received too, since many useful appendices were removed. I recommend you stick with the 11th edition for now.
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By Marand TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I know some people say that you no longer need a dictionary as the internet accessed via a phone or computer is more convenient (indeed this dictionary is available as an Android & apple app). It is when you get a lovely 'real' dictionary in your hands like this one, that you realise that the internet just isn't the same. I can't pretend to know about the alleged shortcomings of this edition in comparison with its predecessor, nor, for my needs, does it matter. For me a dictionary is a practical thing and so, apart obviously from having a large collection of words with clear and meaningful explanations, usability is the issue. I can therefore say that I like the layout - the font is clear & readable - and I like the fine quality paper. There are more than enough definitions for me - I do enjoy crosswords, word games and Scrabble but I am not going to worry or know about a few missing words and I view these games as an enjoyable pastime with a slightly competitive edge. In any event, no dictionary can ever be fully up-to-date - the language is changing all the time.

Although I started off with a Chambers dictionary in my teenage years, latterly I have had OEDs, most recently the ninth edition of the Concise version although my husband has the two volume OED which is obviously more comprehensive if less convenient for the casual user. Compared with the Oxford Concise the font in this Chambers dictionary is slightly smaller, the paper thinner & smoother, less coarse and the definitions count is significantly higher. The Chambers is taller but slightly slimmer too despite its wider range.The Chambers also has a page marker although to be honest I have book marks everywhere so the absence of a bit of cloth isn't earth shattering.
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Format: Hardcover
‘"Chambers is the one I keep at my right hand" – Philip Pullman', says the spine of the dust jacket. I don’t know what Pullman keeps at his left hand, but I imagine it’s an offering from Oxford or Collins. I say this because I don’t think you can always rely on the Chambers Dictionary to give you a wholly clear definition for every word you come across; the comparable Oxford Dictionary of English and the Collins English Dictionary have a more evident science and rigour to them that make them superior at providing objective accounts of the English language. And yet what the Chambers Dictionary sometimes lacks in clarity and objectivity, it makes up for with personality. It isn’t trying to be like other dictionaries. It prides itself on being ‘the preferred dictionary of writers’, and its literary quality is what sets it apart.

Unlike its competitors, the Chambers Dictionary doesn’t divide up subsenses of headwords with bold numerals. It instead simply separates them with semicolons. While this can sometimes make looking for a specific definition quite time-consuming, it much better captures the nature of language: here meanings are shown to be connected, to slide sometimes almost imperceptibly into one another. And though the much-famed humorous definitions are few and far between (more would be welcome), the language used in definitions is generally warmer – more human – than that found in other dictionaries. It must be said that some definitions are a little vague – more hints towards meaning rather than clear explanations – and so you may find yourself reaching for another dictionary to check them against, but this doesn’t happen very often and is forgivable.

The Chambers Dictionary’s extensive coverage of obscure and archaic words had always been its trump card.
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