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The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition Hardcover

ISBN-13: 004-6442006613 ISBN-10: 0547041012 Edition: 5 Ind Thm

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The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition + Roget's International Thesaurus, 7e, Thumb indexed (Roget's International Thesaurus Indexed)
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Product Details

  • Series: American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
  • Hardcover: 2112 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Trade; 5 Ind Thm edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547041012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547041018
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 4.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,742 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries are trained lexicographers with a varied array of interests and expertise. Most of the editors hold graduate degrees, and several have degrees in linguistics or in the history of the English language. All the editors familiarize themselves with the vocabulary in specific subject areas, collect materials on new developments and usage, and work in association with consultants to ensure that the content of our publications is as accurate and up-to-date as possible.

Customer Reviews

As far as I'm concerned this is the best dictionary on American English usage.
Richard L. Weatherly
The iPad app that comes with this edition is a terrific bonus and the app is very well put together.
Don R. Anderson
Words are printed in blue and the definitions are in black to make for a very readable book.
woodstove

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Linda on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I tutor elementary students in language arts and am a substitute teacher; the AHD Fifth edition was a replacement for my outdated AHD Third edition. I don't own electronic gadgets and, unlike another reviewer who wasn't happy thumbing through a seven pound tome (my scale registered the book at eight pounds, if that's important), I use my dictionary almost daily. The fifth edition includes color images; the guide words and entry words are printed in a nice blue. I would have liked a dust jacket, but the binding is study and will withstand frequent use with minimal wear and tear (though the light fabric may suffer from fingerprints). Have to admit I shook my head in bewilderment at some of the new entries, especially "ginormous" and "conversate."

Learning/education is a lifelong process, and a dictionary is as essential to a home as plumbing and electricity! Instead of purchasing new software for that gaming device or a ginormous TV for the family room, consider purchasing the American Heritage Dictionary for a holiday family gift instead. It's affordable, will last a lifetime, and may even become a family heirloom!
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99 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Rem on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First and foremost, let me state that my disappointment mostly has to do with the extras that I have come to expect out of this dictionary, not entries and definitions themselves.

* the two-page spread of "Entries with Notes" [pp. vi-vii in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition : Print and CD-ROM Edition listing headwords that had Regional Notes, Our Living Language Notes, Synonym Notes, Usage Notes, and Word History Notes have disappeared without a trace

* "Regional Patterns of American Speech" essay by Lee Pederson [pp. xvi-xxi in the 4th] is nowhere to be found

* While some headwords have notes appended to them that they hadn't in the past, a lot of notes form the 4th edition are simply missing. (such as with ERR)

* some notes haven't been updated even though the situation remains fluid (such as a usage note at FORTE (1) hasn't been updated and still lists Usage Panel survey data from 1996)

* Indo-European and Semitic roots appendixes appear (after perusing the dictionary for a couple of days) to be exactly the same. (For instance, the new entry THOBE isn't referenced in the Semitic Roots appendix at all)

* Font size has changed from slightly smaller (in essays and entries) to a lot smaller (in Indo-European and Semitic Roots appendixes). Problem is that while making the font smaller did shave off over 6 pages (from 35,5 to 29) from Indo-European Roots appendix, it only shaved off half-a-page from Semitic Roots appendix, thus not reducing the page number at all. Why couldn't the font size been left the same in Semitic Roots appendix?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By dcubed on December 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I looked at this dictionary at the library while trying to make a decision between two other dictionaries (Merriam-Webster Collegiate, 11th edition and Webster's New World College). This library did not have New World, but did have MW and the text looked very muddy to me, not inviting. My children and I also looked at some of the other dictionaries available like the Oxford Shorter English and this American Heritage. Both had clean, crisp text but the AH also had the main words in blue, the definitions in clear black and color pictures in the margins. I admit that I was drawn to the color pictures and found the blue printing really made the words stand out and invited perusing for enjoyment.

The other dictionaries might have better selections and more extras (and I would most *definitely* prefer a CD/download that works on Windows instead of iOS or Android), but this is the one where I would enjoy the experience.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Weatherly on November 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition

TAHD has been a favorite reference of mine for as long as I can remember. I currently own the 3rd and 4th Editions of the AHD as well. As far as I'm concerned this is the best dictionary on American English usage. As always, it provides comprehensive information on word derivations including common Indo-European origins.

This volume has approximately 20,000 words compared to the 3rd Edition. Other enhancements includes the use of color for the word listings, illustrations and photos. Image quality is excellent as is the printing and binding.

The publisher provides a download code redeemable on iPad/Iphone or Android mobile devices. With the proliferation of mobile devices this is a more viable option than CDs. According to the printed card for the installation code, this is a one time download so don't expect to use it on more than one type of device. Amazon Kindle support has confirmed this will work on the new Kindle Fire.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By glenjoo on November 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was originally interested in buying the fourth edition, but I decided to wait until the newer edition's ready.
I have heard about this American Heritage Dictionary ever since I started learning english more seriously, and it not only contains tremendous amount of vocabs, but it even contains the entries which we wouldn't normally classify as 'english vocabs' - like some names of personal figures and monarchs of other nations, but I am sure that those names and other entries are the essential part of understanding the current events when we have to be engaged in academic works and businesses. I guess the whole dictionary alone carries out the traditional role of explaining the vocabs but I am very impressed how it also has encycopedia-like features interesting enough to just read through a page after page.
Thousands of pictures also help me a lot grasping the meanings of words by visualizing and contextualizing in the same time.
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