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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars

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on 10 December 2003
I wanted to find out the meaning of the word "mommet" that crops up in Hardy's "Tess of the Durbevilles". I looked through increasingly large versions of the Oxford English Dictionary, and only found it eventually in the two-volume Shorter Oxford. However, when I turned to my Chambers Dictionary, it was right there.
The point being, Chambers' style of categorising words under similar roots allows it to cram far more into a single volume. If you want lots of words, rather than long, encyclopaedic and often repetitious, definitions, go for Chambers.
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on 11 June 2017
Excellent dictionary. I bought this because the Rainbow Charity quiz uses this edition. It's an excellent buy.
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on 23 October 2003
The ultimate single volumed dictionary. This is the only dictionary you'll ever need: invaluable for all crossword and scrabble lovers. Don't be misled into buying the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, it's not as good as this one! Every home should have one very good dictionary and if you want one to serve you well for life then get this!
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The best desktop dictionary. I'm not sure when this long-standing Scottish 'brand' surpassed Oxford or whether we in the south were just late cottoning on. Whatever, me and my Chambers have been together twenty years now (I own the 1993 edn, the one when they dropped the '20th century' appellation; I'm just considering updating to the 1998 - 'NEW', it says!) and it has recently usurped pride of place at my elbow in the bedroom. I just looked up infinitude in the now demoted Collins, which happened to be the one to hand. (Wanted to be sure it wasn't a French word.) Zilch - and Collins is superior to its Oxford equivalent. Chambers is also the go-to for definitions; Collins is so-so, Oxford off the radar. Chambers definitions are famed for their lucidity and, sometimes, wit (there's a little book of the more Johnsonian or, occasionally, Wildean ones, I'm told). Trust me, this is THE ONE. Also contains useful terms, like perjink and hochmagandy, Not Found in Other Dictionaries. [Whoops! Hochmagandy is NOT IN this 1993 edition - surely by now Chambers have overcome their scruples?]

Nov '14: I've only just noticed inscribed on the spine of my edition the quaintly Victorian, fluttering-eyelid boast 'the first choice of many' reminiscent of Mazawatee tea and suchlike (actually a quote from the Good Book Guide); it is of course the first choice not just of Scots but of All Those Who Know
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on 4 January 2008
This is the best single-volume dictionary of the English Language. If you know Chambers, then you need no persuading. If you don't, then it's time to get one.
It's the recommended reference for most of the best crosswords.

But look on Amazon at the thumb-index version of this dictionary, which should be more expensive, but for some reason is actually a few pounds cheaper. That's the one I've bought, and it's superb.
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on 29 January 2002
The Chambers is the best available source of obscure dialect words, obsolete words from Spencer et al, and senses of ordinary words that have long been forgotten. It is this comprehensiveness that has made it the cruciverbalist's bible, particularly for crosswords of the more fiendish variety.
Qua dictionary, though, it is awkward to use compared to the various Oxford dictionaries (the Concise Oxford Dictionary, the New Oxford Dictionary of English, and the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, in order of size). Moreover, the famously amusing definitions are far and few.
In short, buy this dictionary if you have to - i.e., if you while away your time solving (or setting) crosswords, or if you delight in our language's paths less trod. Otherwise, your best one-volume bet is probably the New Oxford Dictionary of English.
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on 11 May 2003
I've used Chambers for more than forty years and love it with a passion. I still pick it up and read it from time to time, once a week at least. If you think these two points qualify me to be sectioned, all I can say is you can't have had the use and pleasure out of it that I have. It has answered so many what-does-that-mean questions, and helped with so many crossword queries, and brought up so many obscure words for scrabble....... Try it.
I think Oxford has more or less abandoned the territory to Chambers - I mean, of one-volume, comprehensive, practical, day to day dictionaries. (The Concise seems to me to have gone downmarket, so to speak). But, of course, if what you're after is the definitive etymology, the history of the use of the word, the widest range of meanings over its history, then I think you're bound to go to the Shorter Oxford or the OED itself. But then, that's work
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on 24 November 2004
This is an excellent dictionary and certainly the most useful for crosswords and Scrabble. My only complaint is not with the book itself but the Amazon description. This is Not a Thumb Indexed version but merely has a ribbon marker to keep your place with. If you are not concerned with the ribbon marker, I'd recommend you buy the cheaper version, save a fiver or so and use your own book mark as I would have done had I not been mislead by this description.
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on 1 September 2006
This is one great dictionary. Although not perfect (especially in persistant use of semicolons for sense differentation - here Oxford Dictionary of English is definitely more user-friendly) the Chambers Dictionary 10 ed. is definitely worth buying for its unbelievable richness of words. There are no encyclopedic entries but that only makes more room for new and specialized vocabulary. Still, I'd advise getting one more dictionary of this size like ODE, for comparison and as mentioned above for more user-friendly layout of the entry. I own both of these and I can say they complement each other perfectly
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on 24 October 2001
The Chambers dictionary is always the best. Even as a little girl, I would prefer to use the Chambers rather than any of the others. It's fascinating! Not only is it an excellent dictionary but it also has a names section, and a foreign language quotes section. This version of the dictionary does not let the side down in any way. It's so much better than Collins or the Oxford!
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