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on 13 February 2009
The Chambers Dictionary
The Chambers Dictionary is the absolute authority for all crossword enthusiasts, both setters and solvers, and players of word games. It is important to have the latest edition, since Chambers are constantly updating the content. This eleventh edition contains over 1000 words that were not in the 2006 version, yet still retains rare literary and historical words.

The eleventh edition is graced by a foreword by Jeremy Paxman who comments, with his usual erudition, on the contents of the new version.

There is also a valuable short history of English and a useful section on the varieties of English. Here, differences are highlighted, like the pronunciation of the letter r in the final position of a word and before a consonant, in Canadian and American English.

This user-friendly text has sections on first names, phrases from foreign languages and a wealth of other useful information like the temperature conversion table and a list of planetary satellites.

Undoubtedly this is the leading dictionary today!
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Chambers is sometimes derided for what makes it unique: it contains a vast amount of obsolete words and spellings of existing words. It even contains things that it admits it isn't quite sure are words, or which might have been misprints in Shakespeare plays. But these are the things that make it stand out in the dictionary market. The lexicographers and editors should be applauded for preserving our linguistic heritage.

Chambers is THE essential dictionary for anyone who wants to attempt the advanced cryptic crosswords in the weekend newspapers - you can't manage without it, as this is the reference source used by all the top setters. This 2008 edition comes with a free 6 month subscription to Chambers Reference Online, which gives access to the full dictionary on the move, plus a Chambers Thesaurus and other materials.

To sum up, it's a weighty tome and if you're looking for a basic dictionary, you're probably looking more at something like the Concise Oxford. But if you're a linguist or crossword solver, Chambers is essential.
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on 1 March 2009
The very best dictionary, especially for cryptic crosswords: includes every word you'd ever meet, plus many more. The eleventh edition has adopted a sans-serif font, which successfully crams more words into each line and enables greatly increased content for only a small increase in physical size. It is more difficult to read, but not so much as to worry anyone who used it moderately.
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on 29 January 2009
My crossword puzzle hobby requires that I have the latest Chambers dictionary.This is it, and there's not really anything more to say; Chambers is the best - and stands up best to years of daily use.
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on 1 January 2011
We've used the Chambers dictionaries for many years - a favourite for helping to solve crosswords. The specification for the current edition makes clear that it is significantly larger than it's predecessor. It turns out that the book exceeds the height dimension by 4mm which makes use of our handy shelf impossible - a minor irritation, but the new dimensions could be a problem for some. Unfortunately the tome proves difficult to use on one's lap, so although as a reference work it deserves five stars, we find that it is not conveniently usable.
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on 9 March 2009
This is as good as it gets outside paying for the on-line Oxford English Dictionary. Clear and amusing. Only draw back is the weight! Could have used thinner paper but good if you want to strengthen your arm muscles!
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on 28 August 2009
This dictionary is the best that I've found. I've been buying Chambers dictionaries for the last 20 years and they get better with each edition. This edition is a weighty tome, but well worth the investment.
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on 24 April 2009
As a native English speaker, you think your vocabulary's just great. Well, no! Comfortable evenings with great books always reveal shortcomings and here Chambers Dictionary is perfect. Big enough for the rare and complex but yet only one volume. It's accessible: each entry is in bold face, followed by clear print, uncluttered and well spaced - hugely user friendly.
Information is 'to the point' and gets you on your way swiftly.
And - you can lift it with one hand!
You'll use this Dictionary more and more and more!
Recommended.
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on 23 May 2009
Splendiferous. I have bought this dictionary so as to increase my vocabulary - it is said that the quality of your thoughts is directly related to the language that you use. As such, I feel it only right to have more language at my command! I go through the book until I come to a word I haven't seen before, and I highlight it, then aim to use it in conversation later that day. The first word I came across was 'Aardwolf'. Basically like an aardvark, but slightly cooler. It made for a great conversation piece that day.

Not exactly an engaging plot, but still an excellent book - with very few spelling mistakes.
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on 6 January 2010
Published 2008, reprint 2009. We traded up from the edition published in 1998 and reprinted in 2000. The older one is easier to read. The new one uses a fainter and smaller typeface. The new book is about one inch taller but thinner (more than 100 fewer pages)than the old one. With older eyes I much prefer the older typeface. Too soon to judge the content.
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