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Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Synonyms: Choose Words With Precision Hardcover – Jan 1 1968

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Merriam-Webster Inc; New edition edition (Jan. 1 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877793417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877793410
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 17.9 x 4.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #706,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Since 1937. Merriam-Webster is America's foremost publisher of language-related reference works. The company publishes a diverse array of print and electronic products, including Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition – America's best-selling desk dictionary – and Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster can be considered the direct lexicographical heir of Noah Webster. In 1843, the company bought the rights to the 1841 edition of Webster's magnum opus, An American Dictionary of the English Language, Corrected and Enlarged. At the same time, they secured the rights to create revised editions of the work. Since that time, Merriam-Webster editors have carried forward Noah Webster's work, creating some of the most widely used and respected dictionaries and reference books in the world.

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Format: Hardcover
This excellent reference book deserves to be much better known than it is. I do a lot of writing in my job, and have used it (or its earlier edition) regularly for about 15 years. I am surprised at how many people do not seem to be familiar with it. There are few truly synonymous words in English; many words mean about the same thing, but have slightly different meanings and connotations, and are more appropriate in different contexts. The purpose of this book is to help you sort all of this out.
It is important to understand that this book is NOT a thesaurus, but a completely different, yet equally useful, reference work. A very good essay at the beginning of this book explains this, and gives an interesting history of how books of synonyms developed over the past centuries.
The best thesaurus is Roget's International Thesaurus -- the original work, now in its 6th edition, not one of the ones in "dictionary format." Roget's provides long lists words of similar meaning, grouped under conceptual headings. Its purpose is to jog your memory, spur creative thinking, or help you realize what you are really trying to say. It is absolutely the best thing for easing writer's block and helping you to find a word.
The purpose of this book, on the other hand, is to help you understand the differences between similar words. It explains nuances of meaning and compares words that mean approximately, but not quite, the same thing. It has a number of long entries that discuss 5 or 6 similar words together, explaining when to use each and giving examples (usually from good literature) of the correct use of each. When you look up one of the other synonyms, it will point you to the main article in which it is discussed.
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Format: Hardcover
This book and Chamber's Etymological English Dictionary are my two favorite but little-known word reference works. The main difference between this book and Roget's Thesaurus is it focuses more precisely on the actual meanings of the words. A thesaurus will give you plenty of words with similar or nearly similar meanings, grouped by general idea or concept. But most of the words are not exactly synonymous. If you need that, this book will come to your rescue. Another nice feature is, as another reviewer here pointed out, it will even give you examples of words with very similar meanings, but with enough description and definition so you can distinguish among otherwise seemingly identical words and synonyms.
It's also in some ways easier to use than a typical thesaurus, since if you just need a different word and can't recall one, it's easiest to just look it up and get a quick alternative, instead of going through all the extra words you'd get in a thesaurus, but which aren't exactly what you want. Overall, a fine reference work and one that deserves to be better known.
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Format: Hardcover
This dictionary is great man. It's better than any thesaurus, it tells you the difference between words that are alike , or similar, or kinda the same, or akin, or homogenous. You may be thinking that I used the same word over and over again, but this book says, uh unh. These words are different, so use them differently.
Pure genius. Why didn't I think of it? Probably because my english sucks. But if you want to be a writer like me, man, this is the book for you.
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By A Customer on April 30 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ii cannot say enough positive about this book. It goes beyond a thesaurus, which provides you with a list of synonyms. It gives one the exact shade of meaning that enable you to use the best word for the exact meaning that you intend. If you don't have it, you should buy it.
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By A Customer on Dec 7 1999
Format: Hardcover
I found this book helpful to extremes. The dictionary format is much better than that of an average thesaurus.
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