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The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary Hardcover – 9 Sep 1993

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 3836 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Later edition (9 Sept. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019861134X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198611349
  • Product Dimensions: 28.8 x 22.8 x 13.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 319,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Every entry in this famed reference source has been rewritten, many new words have been added, and the majority of the illustrative quotations used have been taken from nineteenth- and twentieth-century sources. The result is an impressive collection of 98,000 headwords and 500,000 definitions in this replacement of the decades-old Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Many earlier and later examples of a word's use have been identified and included. Entries provide pronunciation, parts of speech, date etymology, and definitions. The definitions are modern and easy to understand and are often accompanied by usage indicators. Word lovers everywhere will welcome this up-to-date new addition to the OED family."--American Libraries"A splendid achievement and a splendid value."--Hugh Kenner, writing in The Washington Times"In dictionary terms, the publication of the new Shorter OED is among the major events of the last half-century."--front page article, Chicago Tribune"This wonderfully successful dictionary provides historians and lawyers unparalleled understanding of the derivation and usage of words. No other dictionary of its size and unique organization even comes close. It is a must for students, teachers, and scholars, not to mention persons simply interested in the English language. A joy to read and to learn from, it is the only English language dictionary in the world that one would curl up with by the fire."--Kermit L. Hall, Dean and Professor of History and Law, The University of Tulsa"The SOED treats legal terms more comprehensively than any other general English-language dictionary. It might even be said that the lawyer without it assumes the risk, is grossly negligent, and acquires books in bad faith and with willful turpitude. In other words, I recommend it highly."--Bryan A. Garner, LawProse, Inc."Of the great dictionaries, this is the supremely serviceable one. Never intimidating (or ingratiating), the New Shorter OED is a sheer convenience and an entire resource. Lovers of that unique body of enduring agreements which constitutes the English language, present and past, will all be the beneficiaries of a newly truly wise book in which there is not a word wasted."--Christopher Ricks"The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, in its immense reach and profound wealth, has no rival for utility and potential enlightenment. Scholar-teachers of literature in particular would benefit enormously by daily resort to this exemplary work."--Harold Bloom, Yale University and New York University"Some dictionaries are positively floccinaucinihilipilificative when it comes to science. Not this one. Scientists cannot fail to be impressed by the accuracy, concision and surprising modernity of its scientific entries. At once a delight for browsers, students and all professional users of language."--John D. Barrow, Professor of Astronomy, University of Sussex"How grand to have, at last, these indispensable volumes! No writer, and no serious reader, can afford to live without the Shorter OED. For browsers, it's a goldmine--and you don't need a magnifying glass."--Annie Dillard"Everyone who cherishes the English language, its history, meaning, flavor, will rejoice in the New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary and will turn to it every day for information, for precision and for the endless delights of browsing."--Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., author of The Disuniting of America --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

The Editor-In-Chief, Lesley Brown, brings over twenty years' experience of historical lexicography to the project. Her team numbered at its height sixteen lexicographers, plus numerous researchers and advisors. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The New Shorter OED is far more than a dictionary - it forms a living history of the English language, and shows how English has evolved from Shakespeare's times to the mid-90s.
The dictionary is derived from the Second Edition of the OED, and manages to condense that vast work into something that can sit comfortably on your bookshelves without crowding everything else out. In these two volumes, totalling nearly 3800 pages, you'll find about half a million definitions - so it's almost guaranteed that you'll come across something fascinating, obscure or bizarre on almost every page.
Although the Shorter OED is admirably suited to being used for serious work, it's also great fun - a quick consultation of it to look up a word can, if you have the time, often also turn into a couple of hours of browsing... and in my opinion, there can be no higher praise for a work of reference than that.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This dictionary is fantastic but be careful if you buy a used one. I spotted that some sellers were offering used copies at prices that seemed to be too good to be true and it seems like they are - when my first copy arrived it was only the second volume of the dictionary, from N-Z, which is not much use on its own, so I ordered another one from another seller and that turned out to be only one volume too. Fortunately for me, it was A-M so I now have the full dictionary. For what sellers are charging, I have no problem buying the volumes separately but it should be clearly stated so that buyers know and can buy each of the volumes. As it is, it appears to be random and one could easily end up with two or three of the same volume.
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Format: Hardcover
I ave alwayz wonted a reellee gud dictunary, und ges wot. I purchazed dis item wot arrivd ded quik and in ded gud conditshun. Unfurnitulee it int made mutch differenz to me spelin. Not to to mind too mutch as it maks niz bed tyme readin.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The dictionary is great
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x979a3204) out of 5 stars 29 reviews
82 of 83 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9785bd80) out of 5 stars The best dictionary for all 20 Oct. 2001
By A Williams - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I'm a mature student of linguistics and English with seven English dictionaries, including two copies of this works earlier edition, a smaller Oxford, a large Webster's and a facsimile edition of Jonson's original dictionary. This dictionary is the one that gets used the most.
For many years I swore by the earlier edition and this new one improves it with a newer selection of words and the thumb indexes for each letter making it a little quicker to find the word you need.
For a student of lexicography this dictionary is unmistakably an Oxford while moving towards a more modern world. While the pronunciation is the good old southern received from the original OED they have moved to the International Phonetic Alphabet from the one developed for the first OED. The layout and typeface for entries are still the same; easily read and well laid out. They keep the same marvelous information regarding derivation of a word but replace a definitive date for earliest use with a symbol that places it in the first second or final third of a century, probably more honest anyway. Like the earlier Shorter Oxford most entries also have usage examples for the word, many offer a usage for each sense of the headword.
While the word choice among the 100,000 or so headwords in these two volumes has some holes they are not large at all and mostly confined to more particular areas that border on jargon or industry specific terms. Like some other reviewers I can bemoan the absence of words in my particular topics of interest but there is no point, almost all people will never notice their absence.
For most of the English speaking world this is the dictionary that all high school and university students should own, the perfect answer for most of us who cannot afford or house the definitive Oxford English Dictionary. OK, it may be fairly costly but a dictionary this good is purchased once a lifetime and one this large will not be lost at school or be left at the bus stop. My family has had an earlier edition for thirty years.
Argument can perhaps be made that within the US, with its more Elizabethan spelling, a home grown dictionary such as Webster's should perhaps be recommended, since the Shorter Oxford lists US spellings and notes where they are the prevalent US spelling I would disagree.
I would recommend this dictionary to everyone who speaks the English language. Every home deserves a copy of this dictionary.
79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9785bed0) out of 5 stars Excellent reference 2 Feb. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The best of the large dictionaries. Although I'll concede that the NSOED does not live up to its dust jacket claim for including all words since 1700, it is far more comprehensive than any of its desk top competitors. By breaking it into two volumes, Oxford has made each book manageable and one doesn't need to lift weights to look up a word. The use of the OED's approach to etymology makes this dictionary superior to any in its price range, including, specifically, the Random House and the American Heritage. It dwarfs the Collegiate dictionaries (Webster's and the New World) for number of words included. Easy to read, easy to browse, endlesslly rewarding. Own this, the 2nd OED, and Webster's Unabridged and you've got everything you need.
91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9787cbb8) out of 5 stars the second best english dictionary 28 Jan. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
despite the odd complaints of the 'websters' fetishist who reviewed this book in 1997, this dictionary is second only to the full oed. it suffers in comparison to its sire only from necessary abbreviations due to size.
i have not been disappointed with it so far, and suspect that scholars, except perhaps of modern animal husbandry and american vernacular, will not be disapointed either. this is an ideal reference for graduate students, and others who have need of a serious text at a reasonable price.
and anyone who claims not to know that 'cilantro' is merely a recent american name for the native european herb 'coriander' (p.511) is not fit, in my humble opinion, to act as a referee for this excellent book!
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97e1cf60) out of 5 stars Everything you could ask for in a dictionary 11 Aug. 2000
By Paul Bobbitt - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Oxford English Dictionary has always been the standard by which all other dictionaries have been judged. However, while the 20 volume set is quite thorough, to say the least, it isn't the sort of thing you'd want to keep on your desk at work. (Unless you're employed as an English professor.) This "Shorter" two volume set is an excellent and more compact version of the full dictionary. While it lacks many of the historical word usage references (try looking up "apprehend" in the 20 volume set and compare it to this one, and you'll see what I mean), it is more than adequate for almost anyone. The thumb index tabs are very useful, and the books are bound beautifully. Along with the Oxford Canadian Dictionary, Roget's Thesaurus, and Strunk and White's "Elements of Style", this dictionary is one of the core reference books I use on a daily basis. Certainly costlier than many dictionaries, but in this case you really do get what you pay for.
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9785e204) out of 5 stars Required for any serious professional 25 Oct. 2000
By John Reenan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Much better than Webster's unabridged in both content and organization, and even type. Certainly, you would need both to have a complete library, because there are a lot of words that are not common to both, but this is the one to get if you can't have both.
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