This is the world's bestselling advanced learner's dictionary, recommended by learners of English and their teachers, and used by 30 million people. NEW 32-page Oxford Vocabulary Trainer, only available with the Paperback and CD-ROM edition.
My problem is with the CD-Cops protection used (and you're not told when buying). It is tricky, sometimes it will stop working with no explanation and manual registry cleaning is necessary to fix it. And now, I found out that the dictionary will not start without the cd-drom drive in the bay, even when I'd done the full installation.
If you want my advice, go for the Collins Cobuild, that will give you less fancy extras, but more functionality: a thesaurus and lots of usage examples.
This dictionary is intuitive, informative and aesthetically appealing.
Not only are the lexical entries themselves of a praiseworthy degree of clarity, the grammatical tables, diagrams and explanations to the front and back of the book are well placed and a ready reference.
I have used it for some years now and it has certainly grown on me.
My only reservations about this dictionary are:
1) It is weak on archaic words, the usage for which I use dictionaries most of all. For this, I supplement my dictionary needs with the much older "New Standard Illustrated Dictionary and Encyclopædia (Williams, A.M, ed, Odhams Press, undated (!)).
2) The phonetic symbols at the front are handy, but not always used, even in other Oxford dictionaries. However, it is naturally important that the phonetic symbols themselves are retained. This isn't actually a criticism of the dictionary itself, but rather a plea for inter-publishing house consistency.
3) In the preface, the term 'polysemous' is used. This word is not found in the dictionary itself!
Despite these minor reservations, this dictionary is recommended, especially if you are coming to English as a second language (which isn't the case for myself). It has been well worth the money.
It wouldnot give you the origin of the word and other details of pronunciation, etc. But it would tell you the several meanings the word can have in a simple manner. More importantly it uses the word in a complete sentence. Doing so not only gives you the context but reinforces your memory. One problem with other dictionaries is that they give too long sentences (typically these sentences are popular or published in a newspaper). I hate those type of sentences. By the time you read the sentence you lose sight of what you are looking for. The sentences in this one are small sometimes just a short precise meaningful phrase.
I followed older edition. I saw the new edition and its even better. It has more pictures than the previous editions. Ofcourse if you want illustrated dictionary you shoudl go for the American Oxford Illustrated dictionary.
Grab this one right now if you are preparing for GRE or SAT. Also if you are looking for a dictionary which would give you meanings in a context then buy this dictionary.