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Concise Oxford English Dictionary: Main edition Hardcover – 18 Aug 2011
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I consider this dictionary to be the best available and use it regularly.Published 1 day ago by Alan Reeve
Since I started learning English, I have tested dozens of dictionaries. And although the "Advanced Learner's Dictionary" market is packed tough with wonderful and competing... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
really good dictionary and a basic reference book. Great for solving crosswords!Published 1 month ago by Mrs. A. J. Sheppard
Installed easily on a Windows operating system. Only just started using this version (COED12), but have been using COD10 for years, which is great.Published 1 month ago by babblingboo
Replacing eleventh edition very disappointed to find no Appendices.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer