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The Chambers Dictionary

4.55 of 5 stars 4.55  ·  rating details  ·  73 ratings  ·  10 reviews
This dictionary offers coverage of English vocabulary, ranging from rare words to the latest slang and technical terms. It contains a wealth of appendices with information from chemical elements to first names, and the plays of Shakespeare to the Greek and Hebrew alphabets. This edition contains definitions of more than 500 new words.
Hardcover, 1872 pages
Published August 15th 2007 by Chambers (first published 1901)
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Lynne King
I came across a poll today stating underrated books and this book was included. I was dumbfounded when I saw this. How can you possibly exist without a dictionary, in fact several dictionaries.

This for me, as I'm English (UK), has to be the best and most informative. I have other dictionaries, of course, but I happen to prefer this one. My last copy got rather battered and so I replaced it last year. I like to feel my battered copy though and mostly return to that.

Yet again, how can this possibl
I'm not hopeless at languages, but one of my friends (let's call him G) totally puts me to shame. He speaks at least five fluently and can get by in several more. He's also got a remarkably good memory. Again, my memory isn't bad, but he leaves me standing.

Here's an anecdote to show how good he is. We were sitting around at a friend's place sometime in the 80s. I'm not sure how we got on to the subject of spelling, but G told us that he didn't need to check spellings. He just knew how words were
As a single-volume, dead-tree, unabridged English dictionary, this can't be beat, but even so, the writing is on the wall for paper dictionaries. I've recently switched to the iPad version of this dictionary which has the same content but is much more conveniently accessible. Given that "single-volume" is irrelevant online, other online unabridgeds could surpass the Chambers in terms of number of headwords (and also cost much more), but the Chambers definitions have a non-time-wasting concision ...more
Probably the best single-volume dictionary around. Its mission to include more unusual words makes it a great browse as well.

It loses marks for me for its irritating home pronunciation system; and it's decidedly patchy on archaic or obsolete words and definitions. For a little more money I'd go for the 2-volume Shorter OED, which gives you IPA, much more detailed etymologies, supporting citations, and better coverage of obsolete words. As a single volume, though, this'll probably give you the mo
Waldo Varjak
Every edition of a dictionary tends to lose a few words as it gains many more. Some of the words that are lost have gone out of the language completely while others have been sacrificed to make space for modern words, like twerk. If there were ever a need for a dictionary it would be for these older ones like the New Edition 1983 Chambers 20th Century Dictionary; such dictionaries The Internet has no use for and where the feeling is mutual I am sure. These pre-twerking dictionaries that might de ...more
The Only One for Day to Day Use: I've used Chambers for more than forty years and love it with a passion. I still pick it up and read it from time to time, once a week at least. If you think these two points qualify me to be sectioned, all I can say is you can't have had the use and pleasure out of it that I have. It has answered so many what-does-that-mean questions, and helped with so many crossword queries, and brought up so many obscure words for scrabble....... Try it.

I think Oxford has mor

It's huge but has more words than I will ever need and I use it all the time
Oct 05, 2008 Martin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone with a passion for words
In the event of my being marooned on a desert island and allowed only one book it would have to be a good dictionary... preferably this one.
Tattered Cover Book Store
Chambers is my new favorite dictionary. If you, too, are the sort of person to have favorite dictionaries, you will quickly see why.

- Chris C.
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