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3.6 out of 5 stars
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms & Antonyms: Choose Words With Prescision
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 1999
I teach at a language school in Fort Lauderdale. Dozxens of students each month ask me, "How can I improve my English?" I tell them, "Get a dictionary with synonyms and opposites." The Webster S and A is the best I've found -- and portable, too.
It is vital for language learners to have something interesting to pull them forward. We tend to learn by what we are interested in and in what the opposite is. "That movie was ________" (interesting, great, fantastic...not boring, not slow, not hard to understand.) We tend to think in similars and opposites, so why not use a book that is designed to give you shades of meaning as well as the opposites? I highly recommend this book and I encourage students to pick it up. What is very good in this book? There is an example sentence to show the meaning, such as:
weak, feeble frail weak is broad, like a weak muscle, a week excuse, foundation. feeble usually shows ineffectiveness or smoethign we should pity: a feeble old man, feeble joke. frail suggests an inherited weakness, that something is weak in the structure: her frail body, a frail conscience.
You see what a valuable tool this is? I urge you to recommend this book to your learners of English, even if they are native speakers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2003
The title is a misnomer, as there is less than one antonym for each synonym introduced. Moreover, as stated by other people, nouns are inexistant, and some common words are definitely missing. For example, no mention of the word delicious.
One could expect from such a respected House.
Barely sufficient at high school level, definitely lacking at university level, of little utility to an experienced writer.
However, it could form the basis for a good reference book as the planning is judicious!
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on November 9, 2002
The quote that makes, forms, shapes, fashions, fabricates, manufactures, forges my title comes from the back of the book:~)
"The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms" is the hands down best reference book I've ever bought.
It groups synonyms together and then explains the subtle differences between them (e.g., "infer, deduce, conclude, judge, gather" are followed by definitions of each word explaining the subtle differences in their meanings -- and example of their usage in a sentence) If ever you spent five bucks on a writing reference book, this is the book to have.
My only critique is that very few nouns are ever given (most synonyms given in this book are either verbs or adjectives). And it would be helpful to see all the subtle differences between nouns like "automobile, car, sedan." I hope this helps.
Stacey
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on December 1, 2000
This book is very nice,but may be not the best for your particular desire. If you want more detailed information and usage examples, I recommend the M-W's Dictionary of Synonyms, if you would like a convenient guide of using words, I would say M-W's Pocket Guide of Synonyms is better for you!
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on September 9, 2013
I was hoping to find more words in the book, such as awesome and a couple others. The words that are in the book, have a good selection of alternate words to choose from and explains each well.
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on January 8, 2002
This is a good little book to have handy when you can't think of the exact word you are looking for. I recommend this be part of every aspiring writer's reference bookshelf.
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on September 7, 2013
Like my previous english dictionary, I was expecting much more: it's a very small book, so it has a very limited number of definitions and vocabularies.
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