- 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
- Average Customer Review: 266 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,844,871 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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