Essential for every personal, professional, and institutional library, Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, is the most affordable and comprehensive dictionary on the market. The book that Newsweek called "The best American unabridged" remains unsurpassed in clarity, relevance and coverage of new words.
? Over 315,000 entries ? Over 2,400 maps and illustrations ? 1,000-entry revised New-Words section
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I can confirm a previous reviewer's complaint - the print version of this Random House Webster's unabridged dictionary has a copyright of 2001. The dictionary is based on the larger and heavier 1987 Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition. This print version is listed with copyrights of 1987, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2001. The CD ROM's WordGenius 4.3 that comes with it has a copyright of 2006.
Although I too was disappointed at not being able to purchase a newly edited dictionary, I must add that I liked the CD ROM a great deal even thought it contains no images. This software allows for all kinds of interesting searches based on approximate spellings, definitions, Boolean operations, wildcard designations, and searches that can even involve both a word specification and a definition specification. For example, by typing in "cat & rat" in the definition field, you can find all words with both "cat" and "rat" in their definitions: "cat and mouse," "farmer in the dell," "ratter," and "whisker." By typing "*book*" in the headword field and "v" (verb) in the definition field, you can find all verbs that contain "book" within them: "book," "double-book," "overbook," "prebook," and "rebook." The possibilities here are nearly endless.
To summarize: if you don't already own a good unabridged dictionary, this is a good one (as current dictionaries go). The software is well done, powerful, and fun. The publisher (and Amazon) get very bad marks for misleading the public regarding the copyright dates.
This big, heavy, thick volume is quite a good choice for someone looking for a fairly recent (fully revised 1987, compared to the 1961 Webster's 3rd) unabridged dictionary. The "new words" section at the beginning is a nice feature, if not all that practical, covering lots of new technology terms up to the year 2001. Their choices are a bit haphazard - there's an entry for ACE inhibitors, but nothing for MAOI, SSRI, or proton-pump inhibitors. But the new words section is not the point; it's the rest of the text that matters. It covers just about every word from American English you'll ever need, plus a good number of geographical and biographical entries. So why the two star rating? When I received the book, the front cover binding was already torn and separating. I think Random House may have misstepped when they moved from oversize library cloth binding to 9 x 11 hardback. Maybe it was just a printer error, but I think the binding on this volume is just not enough to support the weight of 2,300 thick pages. In addition, the innermost print columns are too close to the inside binding, making 1/3 of the entries difficult to read. I commend Random House for making an unabridged dictionary available at this price point, but if the book can't hold its own weight, it isn't worth it. I'm exchanging mine for a copy of the New Oxford Dictionary of English (available at Amazon UK), which should cover just as many terms, plus international English, in a more manageable size. The New Oxford American Dictionary is a similar alternative for American English.
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I am utterly disgusted by Random House, a name I had before now considered to be one of the finest English language dictionary publishers in the business. While I still trust their scholarship, their avarice and duplicity has me so disturbed I am boycotting their dictionaries completely.
Unfortunately, my library just purchased this tome, which is billed as a "revised edition" . It is not revised in any manner which I could perceive -- as there aren't ANY NEW WORDS!!! Terms such as "blog", a word that has had a significant impact in interpersonal communication within the last two years or so, SHOULD have been included in a dictionary published in July of this year. But it is nowhere to be found!
Instead, Random House simply repackaged the 1999 edition, exchanging a red hardback cover/dust jacket for a new one in half green/half black. W-o-w. What a waste of money for consumers who are duped into thinking this is a N-E-W edition!
Random House publishers are so distracted by the dollar signs in their oculars they clearly haven't given a second thought as to how they are misleading, nay, ROBBING THEIR BUYERS!
I bought this dictionary because of Random House's reputation AND because RH stated this 2005 edition is the most up-to-date reference work. This claim is one of several claims verified to be false. A RH staffer verified that this dictionary was published in 2002. The edition they sell now is the same exact book (republished/not re-edited in 2005). The next claim states that the front section of the book contains "NEW" words NOT listed in the main section nor introduced in previous edition. This claim is also false. "Agent", for example, is found in the "new words section" AND the main section. In addition, "agent" is not a new word at all. What's it doing in this new word section? A word such as "blog" (web log) should have been included in this new section. Since this dictionary is really from 2002, it is understandable - in hindsight - why it's not listed. This word was not used much, if at all, in 2002. It was easily recognized, however, in 2005. I would NOT have purchased this dictionary if I knew it was from 2002 NOT from 2005. I'm very disappointed at being defrauded.