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127
4.3 out of 5 stars
New Oxford American Dictionary
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115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Well, some bad reviews here force me to write my own review for this excellent dictionary.
By the way, I am referring to the newest, third edition.
Some people here suggest the dictionary might include the word "refudiate". This is wrong!
This wrong word is nowhere to be found inside the book.
The book correctly lists "repudiate"!
What is true is that the Oxford dictionary-makers commented on this word being used by Sarah Palin and they named it "word of the year".
They don't condone the word "refudiate" and they never said they would ever include it in any of their dictionaries.
They just mean that this wrong word is both newsworthy and noteworthy.
So how can people come here and give the book a one-star rating when a) the book lists the right word and b) lexicographers just do their job and point out words to us that we must watch out for?
To me this shows that people who write such nonsense here are badly in need of a dictionary. I would suggest buying this book here then.
It is comprehensive, up-to-date and has great usage notes, which take the reader by the hand and explain word traps (common English errors) thoroughly.
The etymologies are well-written and you can literally feel the Oxford expertise in dictionary-making.
A real five-star piece of modern lexicography.
Any other rating below five stars is ridiculous.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I recently purchased a Dictionary Stand for my Living Room and searched far and wide for the perfect dictionary to sit upon this stand. I considered the Oxford two volume set for $400, but Amazon suggested The New Oxford American Dictionary, Third Edition. Amazon displayed sample pages from this new edition and I knew this was the dictionary I have sought. I received the Third Edition within a few days and I have used the dictionary daily. The Third Edition provides the pronunciation, definitions, tells me if the word is current or archaic, the etymology of the words, and interesting facts about certain words. The dictionary provides far more than this. The Third Edition can be read as if one were reading a very well written History book.

One caveat, the Third Edition is large and heavy. This dictionary requires a table or stand dedicated to its use. It could be a chore to pick this book up and carry it to a chair for usage. But, I cannot praise this dictionary enough. This Third Edition is for the serious scholar, book lover, historian or for people who want a brief biography about a famous person. Finally, book stores charge $60 for this edition but Amazon charged me $37. Buy from Amazon and enjoy.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is an outstanding dictionary of American English. At 2,000 pages and over 350,000 definitions, the reader usually finds the answer to questions. The text size in some dictionaries is too small but it is large and bold enough to clearly see the succinct definitions, examples, word type. A few photos are provided that kept my interest. By purchasing this book, I was offered a 6 month access to the Oxford Dictionary web site. I spent about an hour playing on its pages. I fantasized that I'd obtain access to a digital form of the 20 volume philological history of words and meanings, but that was just my hope. This is an excellent dictionary for adults and some high school students. I think that a dictionary, periodically updated, is something we all ought to have. There are lots of products that focus on lanaguge, english-american, slang, politics, etc. I give this a solid "A".
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My first purchase ever from Amazon was a dictionary, the 1996 Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged. I chose it because it was the only dictionary I could find that had "bonobo" and "urtext" in it, two words I'd recently found use for. Now I needed (ok, wanted) a newer and equally encyclopedic one for my home office and chose this one because it was the most recently updated and also one of the best choices according to Amazon customer reviewers.

Here are a few things I've discovered during initial browsings:

This 2010 Third Edition New Oxford reveals its British roots with the inclusion of "gastropub," the exclusion of "second base," and its failure to capitalize the "R" on "Realtor"--a trademarked industry-invented name, like Kleenex, that requires a cap "R" whether we like it or not.

While both my '96 Webster and '10 New Oxford have entries for "pimp mobile," only New Oxford has one for "OMG," "dumb blonde," "snotty-nosed" and "Risorgimento," a word you'll need to know before watching the great Visconti-Burt Lancaster classic "The Leopard." (And watch it you should, in Italian with subtitles...but I digress.) "Philamerican," which I have just come across for the first time in Antonia Fraser's new book "Must You Go?" isn't in either dictionary.

I'm sure continued browsing will reveal all sorts of words previously unknown to me that I'll not be able to live without--for example, this classy sounding five-syllable word for the willful shirking of duties: "esquivalience."

New Oxford's "ready reference" extras include: a glossary of some 700 or so British and American English terminology equivalents; Arabic, Hebrew, Greek and Russian alphabets; chemical elements; standard weights and measures with metric equivalents and conversions; texts of the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and its Amendments, the Gettysburg Address, the New Colossus and the Pledge of Allegiance; US Presidents and their Vice Presidents through Obama/Biden; US Chief Justices through Roberts along with landmark Supreme Court cases 1803-1989; US states and their postal abbreviations, capitals, mottoes, nicknames, dates and order of statehood; Countries of the World with population estimates and 12 pages of black and white world maps.

I find the typefaces easy to read, particularly the contrast between the boldfaced words, lightfaced definitions and italic examples. And I like being able to find a pronunciation key in all the right hand corners.

This 2,016-page book comes with six months of free access to the Oxford online dictionaries, which I've not yet tried.

Update 2/5/12: OOPS & ALAS! Just discovered, quite by chance, while looking for it elsewhere, that the word "esquivalience" mentioned above is not a real word. Several Google sources are reporting that the Oxford editors made it up to protect their copyright of the online version. Too bad. I rather liked it, myself.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I bought the New Oxford American Dictionary Third Edition because my experience with its electronic version built in the OS of my MacBook Pro has been helping me a lot with current English Usage when I am using the computer. Apple's built-in edition is slightly different from this Third Edition. Perhaps Apple's is an earlier edition and usage notes are sometimes a bit different from those in the Third Edition. Anyway the Apple Dictionary experience has been so satisfactory and rewarding that I decided to buy a volume in print for other everyday uses when I am not using the computer.

I am used to consulting the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary because when I want to look up a word, it's usually from a work of literature and the SOED is an excellent companion for this purpose because of its examples from prominent literary works and definitions from different periods in the history of the English language. But when it comes to everyday usage, especially American usage, the SOED is not so helpful. And that's exactly where the New Oxford American Dictionary comes in. Basically it is aimed at covering the most up-to-date usage one is likely to encounter in everyday life and the editing principles are definitely different from those of the SOED, which is the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary in short. I find that the SOED and the NOAD can complement each other quite well, as the former takes care of the more formal English and the latter takes care of the more casual everyday English.

I also appreciate the fact that there is an encyclopedic element in the NOAD, because it provides illuminating and sometimes entertaining facts about crucial components of modern American culture, which is essential to understanding modern American English.

Actually the SOED coupled with the NOAD should be able to cover almost any words or phrases that one would like to look up in almost all normal contexts. And if your purpose is just to clarify everyday usage of American English, the NOAD is the dictionary to buy and it's really worth the money at amazon.com's discount.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
The Amazon description of the format differences from those of more traditional dictionaries was very accurate. I have always used dictionaries frequently. The aforementioned description gave me pause. So, I bought this one ; but offered two aspects that I hope will be useful. First, it ought to be first rate ( given the Oxford University scholarship connection) on current and contemporary meanings and usages. Second, it ought to give more thorough treatment of modern and new words that are likely to remain in use for decades to come (i.e., discounting words that will likely fade from use because they are merely fashionable or trendy.

With those caveats it likely won't meet my usual needs. I am often looking for alternate or archaic meanings and uses of a word. Too, I rely heavily on comparisons to synonymous and antonymous words to arrive at the precise shade of meaning I wish to convey when writing essays or important communications. The Oxford doesn't really lend itself well to that. I also find it satisfactory but mediocre in learning about the origins of a word from other languages like Greek or Latin.

I recently discarded my old Webster's that was nearly 50 years old. It was outdated and the binding was shot. I'll be getting a large Traditional dictionary like that or a Merriam's soon. However, for a thorough treatment of the most current and contemporary usages, I find this dictionary does its designed job very well indeed
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28 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
New Oxford American Dictionary

UPDATE:

FYI make sure you check the page numbering (particularly in the letter 'C') when you receive your copy!

After using this dictionary for a few months, I discovered that, apparently, there are no English words that fall alphabetically between 'compound' and 'corporate'. After further investigation I discovered that the pages in the 'C' section are somewhat scrambled: page 356 is followed by 389, and page 388 is followed by 421, and so on. I really like the dictionary but it turns into a scavenger hunt at times.

Not sure who to complain to; I've had it for too long to return it for a corrected copy... maybe the publisher?

Other than that, the dictionary is a delight. It has all the current slang/internet terms (eg. MILF, WTF etc.)in case you are as clueless as I am about the linguistic shortcuts we have become so fond of. Also definitions for a lot of technical internet and computer lingo that changes almost constantly.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you need more than this, then you need the 20 volume OED. If you need less than this, then the first hit on google is probably good enough for you. So this is sort of like the Goldilocks Dictionary then, not too small/simple and not too thick/complex. Well worth the price for the value of the OED database and expertise behind it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I'm keeping this baby handy and open on a table so I don't have to logon to the internet every time I need to look up a word. A paper dictionary... what a great idea! No wi-fi connection or batteries required :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I find this dictionary great and easy to use, aside from the pronunciation part.
The pronunciation is given in a respelling form (IPA symbols were not used),
which is not really different from what you get in MW Unabridged,
MW Collegiate and American Heritage Dictionaries, but I hoped for more.
No it's not the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, but it does come close.
Overall, a very good product.
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