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Random House Webster's College Dictionary Hardcover – July 18, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0375425608 ISBN-10: 0375425608 Edition: Indexed
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Webster's annually updated dictionary offers an outstanding blend of new-millennium lingo and the classic words and origins of the English language. For instance, it includes extensive computer terminology, such as bot, cookie, and terabyte, as well as cyberjargon, such as clicks-and-mortar ("adj. pertaining to being a company that does business on the Internet and in traditional stores or offices"). It even has slang listings for my bad! ("slang. my fault! my mistake!") and senior moment ("n. ((often facetious)) a brief lapse in memory or moment of confusion, esp. in an older person"). Inclusions like these appeal especially to generation X and even generation Y ("n. the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s, especially in the United States").

Readers of all generations will appreciate the numerous tutorials, such as "Guide for Writers" and "Avoiding Offensive Language," as well as the latest political and geographical updates. Including the computer lingo and trendy slang is definitely edgy ("adj. daringly innovative; on the cutting edge"). But, when it comes to being a solid reference tool, it's the sophisticated definitions, line drawings, maps, charts, essays, and usage advice that make Webster's dictionary unequivocally candy ("slang. someone or something that is excellent. pleasing or pleasurable"). --Gail Hudson

From Library Journal

In 1947 Random House launched its first dictionary, the celebrated American College Dictionary. Today, half a century later, the publisher is recognized as one of the premier lexicographic houses in North America, noted for its careful attention to new vocabulary, both standard and nonstandard. Fittingly, Random House marks its 50th anniversary in the dictionary business with these two major publications, both of which will be familiar to librarians. Volume 2 (H-O) of the slang dictionary, which adds about 10,000 main entries to the corpus, maintains the impressive quality that distinguished Volume 1 (LJ 8/94). The final volume (Q-Z) is scheduled for publication in 2000. This is simply the best slang dictionary ever compiled, and all but the smallest public and academic libraries should have it. The College Dictionary, a descendant of the aforementioned American College Dictionary, first appeared under its current title six years ago (LJ 6/15/91). The new edition is a thorough update, offering first-rate coverage and treatment of American English as used in the mid-1990s. For instance, "chat room" is here, as is the latest connotation of "closure." It competes well with other dictionaries in its class, including Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (LJ 9/1/93) and the American Heritage College Dictionary (1993. 3d ed.). Essential for most collections.?Ken Kister, author of "Best Encyclopedias," Tampa, Fla.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1600 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Reference; Indexed edition (July 18, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375425608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375425608
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 2.2 x 9.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You don't have to be a college student to appreciate this with-it dictionary. As a professional writer, I swear by it. It's not only useful for spelling and capitalization, it has proved invaluable in indicating when hyphenated compound words "graduate" to single words by virtue of their popular usage. (Examples: "head-hunting" became "headhunting" when employment recruiters began doing it; "email" is taking over the place that "e-mail" established; even "weekend" was hyphenated at first.) Accept no substitutes ... insist on the Random House Webster's College version. I buy nearly every edition of this classic, and I am always amazed at the number of new words it includes. I have also given it to friends, family, colleagues, and even my editor.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Melanie on May 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I write as a hobby and am a reference book addict. I own 10 dictionaries. I've had my copy of RH/Webster's for 3 years and have yet to find a word not listed in stunning detail. Buy this dictionary!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By wangshunlai on February 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The second edition of Random House Webster's College Dictionary first published in 1997 when it was the latest at college dictionary market. Then, the publisher launched an annual update program in 1998. The 1999 update have more than 207,000 definitions with more new words than any other dictionary. The new words in science, computing, business, society etc were comprehensively updated. I always go to Random house first because I find it always give me a satisfactory answer.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Wood on August 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I wanted to give my niece, newly graduated from high school and on her way to college, a present, and decided on a college size dictionary. I found about 6 or 7 at the bookstore and spent some time reading each of them. I ended up choosing the Random House Webster College Dictionary. There were several features of this dictionary that I liked. It was easy on the eye: there was a little space between entries, which made words easier to find, and there was a minimum of abbreviations and symbols. Etymologies are placed at the end of an entry, rather than at the beginning. That means that what you see first are the definitions, not a line or two of technical information that most people don't read anyway. When a word has more than one meaning, the different senses are numbered 1,2,3...etc. I found this clearer and less confusing to the eye than 1a,b,c or circles and squares to categorize the various senses. I also liked that Random House lists the most common meanings first. Finally, and maybe most important, people look up words in a dictionary most often to find out what they mean. So any dictionary rises or falls on the quality of its definitions. With Random House, I found the definitions clear, straight forward and easy to read.

I would have given this dictionary five stars, but I found the paper quality, which looks a little like newsprint, to be less than top quality and likely to turn color with age. All in all, however, this was the one I liked the best.

As an added tip, you might want to check out the Random House thesausus, which I also gave my niece to complement the dictionary. It was an even clearer winner over its competition, in my mind, than the dictionary.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a Ph.D. student that English is not my native tongue I found this dictionary very helpful and easy to use. I use it to write and read professional publications in variety of fields. I was so happy to finally find a reliable dictionary that contains a lot of words and explain their definitions clearly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frances M. Harrison on September 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have been using the Random House College dictionary since I received it as a gift in 1981. I found these reviews while I was looking for a newer edition. I have my original Random House College Dictionary(that's what it says on the dust jacket and the cover) sitting here on my desk, in its original RED dust jacket, although the rest of the book is falling to pieces from use. I really wonder about all this confusion. I chose this dictionary as a desired gift because of its superior, clear definitions and wonderfully organized entries, which put the etymological references right at the end where we educated folks like to find them. My final decision as to which dictionary to buy rested on the full definition given of the word "megalomania," which all the others merely listed as a psychiatric condition. I am thrilled to hear that the terminology of all the latest technological advances and vernacular language are included in the most recent edition. I will most certainly be picking up a copy.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By oldbrit on July 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought the April 1999 edition after spending an hour or two in the bookstore looking at several dictionaries so that I could find the best one for me.
This one won easily. I can't remember whether the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary was among the others, but I do remember being confused at some point in time by the similarities in appearance and name of these dictionaries. So I found the "No likelihood of consumer confusion?" review very helpful as I hadn't bothered to run it down so thoroughly. Thanks! It seems to me that only a legal system trapped in its own ever-diminishing circle could have concluded that there was no attempt by Random House to imitate.
The dictionary, however, I have found to be excellent. In the three years or so I've had it I've found one mistake - a typo where "liberal" was used instead of "literal" in the definition of the word 'Pharisee'. I measure that against the innumerable occasions where its concise and elegant definitions have been a great help and source of knowledge. I really can't speak too highly of it, but I'll now just have to go out and compare it in my "relatively sophisticated" way to the Merriam-Webster.
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