Customer Reviews: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition
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Showing 1-10 of 71 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on March 16, 2008
I thought this dictionary was decent and served most of its purposes. The problem with purchasing it over the Internet, though, was that I didn't know if it had all of the features I needed.

Therefore, while it is good and has a great many words with concise definitions, the plurals of the words are not listed. I was astonished by this, since I'd never seen a dictionary before that didn't list the plurals! Of course, this was one of the things I needed in a dictionary in order to help me in my grammar class. So while I have a nice dictionary, I am still shocked about the lack of plurals!

So be forewarned if you are considering this dictionary that if you need plural forms of words, you will not find them in this book!
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on September 13, 2003
Being a user of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for about 20 years, I am disappointed with this new edition. To be more specific, I am disappointed with the free CD-ROM came with the dictionary.
Using dictionaries for me means sitting in front of a PC monitor with fingers on keyboard. When I can find the definitions of words in less than a second, why should I waste 20 to 30 seconds in turning the pages. Accordingly, my review here focuses more on the interface of the CD-ROM dictionary than on the contents itself.
In my PC, I installed Collins Cobuild ver 3.1, Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 4th Edition, Macmillan English Dictionary, ver 1.1, Cambridge International Dictionary of English ver 1.03, The New Penguin English Dictionary 2001, The American Heritage Dictionary 2000, Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary ver 3.0, Bookshelf 98, and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary & Thesaurus, Deluxe Audio Edition ver 2.5. On another hard disk, I had an older Oxford English Dictionary on the legacy Windows NT 4.0. I have virtually all CD-ROM dictionaries available in the world. For this reason, I would say MW11 CD-ROM still has much to be desired.
There had been the MW Deluxe Audio Edition ver 2.5 installed in my PC. When I tried to install the free CD came with MW11, I was requested to remove the ver 2.5. Unfortunately, the ver 3.0 free CD is a dumb one, which ironically expelled the deluxe edition. I later tried this on another hard disk, on which ver 2.5 could be installed after ver 3.0 had been installed. Both versions could coexist harmonically. With multi-version CD-ROM dictionaries running in my PC, I can easily learn that the wonderful features with this MW11 CD-ROM mentioned by other reviewers were just old ones in most of the others.
MW might never know how fancy and user-friendly the other CD-ROM dictionaries are, how colorful the others are, and how fast the others are running. MW might never know corpus integration is now a trend in making CD-ROM dictionaries. MW might never know audio function is now a must for CD-ROM dictionaries. The free CD-ROMs came with LDOCE, MED, and RHWUD have wonderful audio function. LDOCE and MED even contain both British and American accents.
Some other awkward designs worth mentioning here are that for continuous looking up in this CD-ROM, one has to use mouse to highlight the searching box prior to a new search, which is very annoying when you are looking up a lot of words. On Cobuild, CIDE, MED, etc, you just key in work, then press Enter. Repeating this sequence, the definitions were retrieved one after one, and the searches keep going without a single move of the mouse.
For the same word, you have to toggle between dictionary and thesaurus, followed by a click on Search button to retrieve the contents in either reference. On Bookshelf 98, and Cobuild one search can retrieve all the information in each reference.
Now you see how premature the MW11 free CD-ROM is. The unabridged Webster's Third New International Dictionary share the same interface with the collegiate edition, and has been challenged by users for years. There is no need to argue about how far MW is lagging behind its competitors. MW had better thoroughly investigate the market status and redraft its roadmap. Sidney Landau has stated in his book Dictionaries, The Art and Craft of Lexicography, 2nd Edition:
Unabridged dictionaries in print will largely become a thing of the past; if produced at all in print form, they will be limited editions for collectors and libraries. Desk dictionaries, which include the American college dictionaries, will remain attractive commodities in print, as will shorter versions, but will suffer from increased competition from electronic alternatives produced by the print publishers themselves or by others whom they license.
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on February 28, 2016
pretty good, actually very good for what it is. Generally speaking I have never been a fan of the "Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. My opinion is that this particular dictionary, generally, if you're more than a college undergraduate, is definitely not "serious" enough. But this was the only standalone reference dictionary that I could find available for my Kindle e-reader's.
As I said before I was looking for something to use as I said in a previous review of the Roget's thesaurus I was looking for a set of easily accessible vocabulary reference books, dictionaries/the Soraya etc. that I could use when doing my fiction writing, and not necessarily when I am reading a Kindle e-book. Again as I said before, I think that Amazon needs to seriously improve the availability of serious reference works available in Kindle e-reader format. There certainly are better dictionaries than the Merriam-Webster's collegiate, which hasn't been updated in a dog's age. I wish some of those were available for my Kindle e-reader's. However, alas they are not. :-(
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on April 23, 2014
I just purchased this dictionary. It did not come with a cd-rom but instead came with a download card which included registration number. I was able to use this card and download to my computer with no problems. I was hoping to have cd-rom so I could use on multiple computers as I am also a home-school mom.
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on October 21, 2011
Excellent dictionary. The whole thing is on a CD. I bought this because my old CD, American Heritage, got damaged when my disk drive went. Merriam-Webster does not have pronunciation. I emailed the company. They told me that the CD in the dictionary was version 3, and version 4 has pronunciation. They emailed me version 4 and the unlock code. Unfortunately, as soon as I type in a single letter, the program crashes. It is useless. I corresponded back and forth, with no success. I am sure the programmers there are cheap Indian programmers, unable to write a simple code for pronunciation. American Heritage did this years ago. In their email correspondence, they did not even know proper English. This is for programmers working for a dictionary company!

I gave it 3 stars, as it is a good dictionary. However, had I known that there was no pronunciation, I would not have bought it. It does not pay to return the item.
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on May 30, 2014
This is a good dictionary. But just don't expect the delivered product to be consistent with the description. No CD-ROM was included with the one that I ordered in April 2014. Nontheless, I've just ordered another one as a gift for a high-school graduate.
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on September 13, 2013
I am sure the contents of the dictionary is excellent. I have owned several over the years. Now at an advanced age the print is too small for my old eyes. I gave the book away and bought another leading brand.
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on June 21, 2016
I finally found what I was looking for, but it took too long. I thought it was hard to use. If I used it more often I would probably get used to the way it's set up. I'll keep trying. I like having a dictionary available.
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on September 6, 2008
Although this is listed in Amazon as a "large print" dictionary, it's not. No knock on the dictionary, it's just not large print.
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on September 5, 2013
Very good dictionary but it is very heavy. That's my only complaint aside from it being huge. It's hard for my wife to use due to it's size and weight. If you're working on a table or large desk it's OK....but if you want to use it on your lap or on a bed..forget it. You can work it into your exercise regimentation.
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