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Concise Oxford English Dictionary: Main edition Hardcover – 18 Aug 2011

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4.7 out of 5 stars 220 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1728 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 12 edition (18 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199601089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199601080
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 5.6 x 16.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Review from previous edition This is the dictionary par excellence for the general reader ... it answers a lot of questions; it is easy to use; it does not take up too much space on a crowded desk. (David Malcolm, Times Literary Supplement)

About the Author

Angus Stevenson is a Project Editor for English Dictionaries at OUP.


About the Editor:
Maurice Waite is editor of The Little Oxford Dictionary and the Oxford Spelling Dictionary.


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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having missed the two previous editions of the Concise Oxford I thought it was time for a new one, particularly in the COD's centenary year (a very nice facsimile of the first edition has also just been published). This twelfth edition is a particularly successful one, in terms of design, paper and format and, strangely, I've consulted it more in the few weeks since I've had it than I looked at its predecessor over several years! It is still my preferred dictionary and this edition definitely does not disappoint. The Fowlers would be more than happy with it!
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Format: CD-ROM Verified Purchase
I have a well used hardback copy of the COED on my bookshelf, so why also buy it on CD? The obvious answer for laptop owners is that is is easier than carrying a 3lb book around with you. It is also quicker to look up a word than thumbing through a 1,680 page book.

Much more important is that you can do much more with it than with a paper copy. Its helps you spell those difficult words where your spellchecker does not help. I wonder how many of us can spell diarrhoea without checking. Use a wild card search - dia*a - copy the word and paste it into your document.

Then there are the words your don't know how to pronounce. Is a lieutenant a "left-tenant" or a "loo-tenant"? You can press a loudspeaker icon to hear the pronunciation. I now know how to say "guacamole" without making a fool of myself.

For crossword lovers there are anagram and crossword solver options. Can you name 6 anagrams of "triangle"?

Unfortunately the dictionary is badly let down by the software. I was surprised how quickly the program had installed when I got an install completed message. In fact it still had to install the dictionary itself. The greatest weakness is its hogging of the screen by always remaining on top. Every time you want to return to your document you have to click the diminish symbol.

Four stars. That is 5 stars for the dictionary itself, but only 3 for the software.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This dictionary is an excellent compromise between the pocket sized dictionaries and the full version which stretches to several huge volumes. It's small enough to keep it handy,near your desk and big enough to contain most of those words that appear in academic volumes. Very good value for money.
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Format: Hardcover
You should know that the modern Concise Oxford English Dictionary (COED) is not a direct descendent of the pioneering 1911 Concise Oxford Dictionary written by Henry and Francis Fowler. Nor is it an original work in its own right. Rather, it's a stripped-down version of the excellent (New) Oxford Dictionary of English. It still though deserves a 5-star rating.

By cutting entries (240,000 against 350,000 in the ODE), shortening definitions, removing all but essential illustrative sentences and simplifying etymologies, Oxford have produced a dictionary of a practical size that is perfect for quickly looking up spellings and definitions. The page layout is excellent, so you can very quickly find the headword and sense you are looking for, and the definitions are short and almost always entirely comprehensible – they've been very carefully adapted from those in the ODE to make sure little understanding is lost. The usage notes given for words that cause confusion or provoke strong opinion are helpful, and the small number of notes showing the evolution of words over the last century are a nice touch.

I gave the ODE only 4 stars in a review because I felt its build quality and overall design is pretty shoddy. The paper in the COED is, surprisingly, of a higher quality. And while it does share the same style of flimsy dust jacket with the ODE, and the slightly annoying placement of a reference section in the centre of the book rather than at the end, it would be mean-spirited to dock a star in this instance. The COED is for me a purely practical dictionary, not designed to be flicked through and enjoyed in quite the same way as the ODE. I use it purely as a tool, rather than a source of curiosity, and for this purpose it's virtually perfect.
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Format: CD-ROM Verified Purchase
I bought this dictionary so that I could have a handy reference on my Windows 7 64-bit computer. What a disappointment. The dictionary itself is not too bad if all you are seeking is the most common words and slang; but for me it appears to have a rather limited vocabulary. Many words I try to look up are not included, and these are simply ordinary, not specialist, English words. To make matters worse, the search results have been pared to the bone: no synonyms or antonyms; no examples of usage; and only the scantiest information about etymology.

Then there is the software itself. This looks as if it was written when Windows was just a futuristic dream. It is basic in the extreme, and operates with difficulty on a modern PC. It frequently freezes when opening; throws up a meaningless Error Code every time it is started, for which there is no support offered; and fails to automatically highlight the search box when you wish to look up a new word.

All in all I feel that it is a poor effort, especially when one considers the high opinion which Oxford University Press has of itself. It is not a patch on the old Encarta which was originally a stand-alone programme, then was included with Microsoft Student; and now, sadly, is no more.
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