Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage” as Want to Read:
Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  117 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Offering more than correct spellings and definitions, this abridged version of Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage contains 2,000 brief articles on the historical and current usage trends of commonly confused and disputed words and phrases. The articles analyze the words, discuss alternati
Paperback, 799 pages
Published January 1st 2002 by Merriam-Webster (first published November 1st 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary of English Usage

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 318)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Rick Bavera
I am fascinated with and by words.

Because of that, I found this book to be a useful dictionary, covering words from a/an and abbreviations to zoom, and the "problems" or differences that may arise in usage for those whose job is working with words.

There is also a short ("brief" in the words of the dictionary) history of the English language, a pronunciation guide, and a bibliography of source materials for the advice given in the body of the dictionary.
Jul 16, 2007 Ben rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
I would recommend this book to anyone who does a lot of writing. It has excellent, well-researched advice on the proper usage of a number of English words and phrases. It is very "descriptivist" -- that is, rather than simply deferring to an expert's opinion, the researchers actually search through numerous archives of English literature, journalism, etc, as well as other usage guides to formulate their recommendations.
How could I not love a book that answers my most burning usage questions and also helps me win arguments? (I usually have to just make-believe an opponent for these arguments because all the real people are afraid to fight with me about this stuff, but it still gives me a great sense of triumph when I win--which I ALWAYS do!)
This is not the best usage guide ever, but it is a good one. Many an argument was settled with this book. Frankly, anyone who fancies himself a wordsmith better know what's included here. All basic and straightforward but necessary nonetheless.
This usage dictionary is vital for any writer, editor or English lover in general. It has great histories and explanations of many common dilemmas and usage questions we face.
See the entries for who/whom and farther/further.
The sine qua non of English usage reference. There is an exemplary reliance on evidence (with plenty of supporting quotations), rather than the usual intellectually trivial acceptance of received rules.
Overall the best (most thorough) usage guide available. MWDEU is not so much a quick reference but rather a guide for self-study and settling those seemingly intractable issues of English usage.
If you aren't familiar with this book (which, BTW, is quite droll), there's a very high probability that you are the under the sway of some very priggish ideas about English usage. Free yer mind.
Kate McClare
Dec 29, 2014 Kate McClare rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers of all levels
Shelves: writing-guides
An indispensable arbiter of proper English, filled with revealing insights on how our language came to its present state.
I originally read this book for fun and education. I keep it on hand for a reference.
Barbara marked it as to-read
Nov 17, 2015
Lynda Meeks
Lynda Meeks marked it as to-read
Nov 12, 2015
Sara marked it as to-read
Nov 10, 2015
Louis Thompson
Louis Thompson marked it as to-read
Nov 05, 2015
Matt Russell
Matt Russell marked it as to-read
Oct 23, 2015
Shannon marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2015
La'Keisha Moore
La'Keisha Moore marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2015
Ali Falahati
Ali Falahati marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2015
Kilian Metcalf
Kilian Metcalf is currently reading it
Sep 25, 2015
N.Balabka marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2015
Sachi Ko
Sachi Ko marked it as to-read
Sep 19, 2015
Hasnor Lot
Hasnor Lot marked it as to-read
Sep 16, 2015
Kian Meng Ang
Kian Meng Ang marked it as to-read
Aug 28, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Dictionary of Theories
  • The Copyeditor's Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications, with Exercises and Answer Keys
  • Words into Type
  • The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing (Essential Resource Library) (Essential Resource Library)
  • Garner's Modern American Usage
  • Torn Wings and Faux Pas: A Flashbook of Style, a Beastly Guide Through the Writer's Labyrinth
  • The Chicago Manual of Style
  • The New Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form
  • The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
  • The New Fowler's Modern English Usage
  • Webster's Third New International Dictionary
  • Dictionary of Word Origins: Histories of More Than 8,000 English-Language Words
  • Far from the Madding Gerund: And Other Dispatches from Language Log
  • Random House Word Menu: New and Essential Companion to the Dictionary
  • Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
  • The Oxford Companion to the English Language
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations
  • The Complete Rhyming Dictionary

Share This Book