- Hardcover: 1664 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Third Edition edition (September 9, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0395669170
- ISBN-13: 978-0395669174
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 263 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,357,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The American Heritage College Dictionary Third Edition Edition
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Despite the word "college" in the title, The American Heritage College Dictionary is the best choice for anyone who's looking for a substantive desk dictionary but isn't quite ready to commit to the space an unabridged takes. With more than 200,000 definitions and biographical and geographical notes, along with crisp photos, drawings, and diagrams in every margin, The American Heritage College Dictionary packs a lot into its 1664 pages. Under "lock," for example, you'll find both a diagram explaining how your key fits into and opens one, as well as a photo of boats passing through a river lock in Heidelberg, Germany. The actual definition section for "lock" shows 5 uses as a noun and 14 as a verb, followed by the idioms "lock horns" and "lock, stock, and barrel," and an etymological note that the word comes from the Old English loc, meaning "bolt or bar." As with all of the American Heritage dictionaries, The American Heritage College Dictionary boasts clear typography, clean design, and terrific usage notes based on the opinions of its 173-member usage panel, a group of noted North American writers and scholars, including Daniel Boorstin, June Jordan, Calvin Trillin, and Eudora Welty. These usage notes (for example, "brunette" seldom refers to men, because "-ette" is too closely associated with the feminine gender), along with regional notes (in the Northern U.S., a "bubbler" is a drinking fountain) and word histories, are a valuable addition to the standard definitions and synonyms one would expect from a college dictionary, and they are what make The American Heritage College Dictionary stand out from the crowd. --Rebecca A. Staffel --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
Dictionaries run the gamut from the extremely specialized, such as the Oxford English Dictionary, to picture books designed for young readers. This one falls in the huge middle ground of general-interest, all-purpose dictionaries. Substantially revised and expanded after nine years, with 7500 new words and thousands of updated definitions in all areas, the current edition is made particularly relevant by the inclusion of many terms for Internet or computer-related topics, for example, as well as terms related to the September 11 attacks including "9/11" itself. The editors, who are affiliated with Houghton's reference division, also responsible for the longstanding The American HeritageR Dictionary of the English Language, provide lucid definitions of terms as well as biographical information on prominent people from a wide assortment of fields (e.g., science, business, politics, and the arts). They have also updated data on U.S. cities and states with population statistics from the 2000 census and have added over 2500 photographs and handy black-and-white illustrations, such as diagrams, charts, and outline maps of countries throughout the world. Quirks do appear: there is no definition of "free jazz," for example, despite coverage of other major jazz genres such as Dixieland, fusion, bop/bebop, hot and cool jazz, and swing. In such cases, a specialized topical dictionary is needed. Also, users should retain older dictionaries to locate terms cut from the current edition or to see how words change over time. Finally, although etymologies are given for many words, as are notes on language use and synonyms, a good thesaurus is still needed to help users find comparable words. These minor drawbacks aside, this still makes for a fine general-interest dictionary that continues the strengths of its predecessor and is sure to be of use in any library. William Kenz, Minnesota State Univ., Moorhead
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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HOWEVER, I must criticize the Amazon site's reviews. In many instances, the reviews are of books and movies that DON'T MATCH the product being offered. This is confusing and not at all helpful in getting an idea of the product.
Item: WOMEN of the South ran out of PINS and walked around with downcast eyes looking for PINS. Thorns were gathered and dried to use as PINS. Item: CONSCRIPTION: In the South conscription was well implemented, in the North it was a DISGRACE. If drafted, a man could get out of it for $300 or hire a substitute to take his place. The COLORED ORPHAN ASYLUM on FIFTH AVENUE was attacked and burnt because of conscription exempting blacks. Item: PRISON CAMPS: 55,000 soldiers died in the prison camps of the North and the South, the conditions of which rivalled Nazi Concentration camps, indeed may have been worse. Item: BATTLE OF CHATTANOOGA - an uphill "miracle" of courage by Union soldiers. The South lost the war not through want of courage and skill but because the war "wore it out". Not one mile of railroad was produced in the Confederacy during the war. The moral dimension of slavery may have been another factor but only in the latter half of the tragedy. Again, the Union navy played a pivotal role which I for one was completely unaware of. Reading this work has been an engrossing and revalatory experience for me.
A good dictionary is more than looking up a word meaning. It can be an avenue of great learning and the building of one speech and oratorical abilities. This is one thing a typical search on the internet to find a word meaning cannot offer. Secondly, the reliability of a good physical dictionary is far dependable than that of most digital dictionaries. Searching for a word meaning on the web is faster but in most cases, the definition is laced with bias point of views.
Now looking at the many unique features of this dictionary, THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY. Other than words definition, the dictionary would make a good tool for learning improvement and even home schooling. At the beginning of each alphabet. There is a unique insight. The letter is presented in six different alphabets, namely, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Medieval and Modern (English). On the top of these alphabets are the written illustration of how it is written in Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Medieval and of course English. The English letter is displayed in its capital letter form, in print, in small letter (lower case) and cursive. A form of writing most adults and grownups, no longer know how to write or read. This is important because most of our historical documents are written in cursive letters. Below all that is the historical account of the letter and how it came into being and its uses over the years.
Another feature is the integration of a lot of ILLUSTRATED PICTURES throughout the dictionary.
Then there is a separate entry called the BIOGRAPHICAL ENTRIES, this includes pictures and biographical entries of individuals throughout history, from Andrew Jackson to Leonardo Da Vinci, Douglas MacArthur, Jesse Owens, Isaac Newton, Geronimo, Golda Meir, Billy Graham, Martin Luther King Jr, Mick Jagger, yep Mick Jagger. And many more.
Also following the biographical entries is the GEOGRAPHICAL ENTRIES, within this section are countries, cities, states and locations from around the world. This could be a great learning tool for children as well. There is also a page dedicated to the Bible (The Bible table and the Books of the Bible)
Over 1500+ of excellent thin-papers, the dictionary would make a good collection to any library and a personal study material
Blue hardcover with gold letterings and letter tab for easy navigation.