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The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
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The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  431 ratings  ·  34 reviews
There are over 350,000 entries and meanings - more than 16,000 of them new - in a single A-Z vocabulary illustrated by over 34,000 written examples and by nearly 4,000 photographs and drawings in "The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition." More than 500 usage notes and comments, including the opinions of a distinguished Usage Panel, provide s ...more
Leather Bound, 3rd edition, 2184 pages
Published September 10th 1992 by Houghton Mifflin (first published July 15th 1970)
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Jul 20, 2012 Wendy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students, authors, and editors
My favorite dictionary! It includes great color photos and excellent usage notes. With misspellings and misuses rampant in on-line dictionaries, this is my go-to trustworthy resource when I'm editing.
NPR recommends this new edition (now includes "asshat"!) as a gift.
The right dictionary for you, for me, for everybody!
Dec 06, 2011 Yuki marked it as browsing-or-reference  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wishlist, tsundoku
They've added "asshat"!
Item Title: The American heritage dictionary of the English language (5th ed.). (2011). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Citation created by: Michele Powell

Format: Dictionary

Call Number: 423 AME

Description: The fifth edition of this comprehensive dictionary includes 10,000 new entries, the addition of synonyms, and updates to usage notes, example sentences, and word histories. The new edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language continues to use color illustrations a
Ashley Hill
APA: (2011). The American heritage dictionary of the English language. (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Citation by: Ashley Hill

Type of Reference: Dictionary

Call Number: 423

Description: This is a dictionary that is updated including new words that have developed since the last dictionary was published such as fracking, podcast, etc.

Relevance and Relationship: This is a relevant resource, especially as an updated resource in comparison to the other dictionaries in the library.
Robbie Biddle
The American Heritage dictionary for learners of English (2002). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Citation by: Robbie Biddle

Type of Reference: Dictionary

Call Number: Ref 423

Content/Scope: The dictionary has added over 10,000 new words to this new edition. This dictionary primarily targets ninth through twelfth grade students. It contains color illustrations, all countries have maps associated with them, and is considered unique for the usage notes written by the contributors.

Accuracy/Authority/Bias: Thi
Lauren Fynboe
American Heritage Dictionaries. (2012). The American heritage dictionary of the English language (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt.

Citation by: Lauren Fynboe

Reference Type: Dictionary

Call Number:

Description: Content Scope-The purpose of this resource is to present a compilation of the words of the English language, along with pronunciation guides, parts of speech, and multiple-meaning definitions. This resource is helpful to any aged audience, but is most helpful to those grad
Carrie Fitch
Jun 23, 2012 Carrie Fitch added it
Shelves: reference
Review by Carrie Fitch

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.).(2011). Boston, MA: Houghton- Mifflin.


This dictionary is geared toward high school age students who do not need the pictures and bright colors of a children’s dictionary, but are not yet ready for a more scholarly dictionary. Credible individuals have contributed information about each entry including synonyms, parts of speech, origins, definitions and pronunciation.

Call Number: RR 423 AME

Karen Jean Matsko Hood
A classic stand by to read for all who simply love wordsThe American Heritage Dictionary
Mine is the Fourth Edition (2006) and it is wonderful - such a delight to see beautiful photos illustrating exotic words, themselves defined with love. These aren't just definitions, mind you, these are ideas. The "Usage Panel" includes people I've followed forever (Geoffrey Nunberg, Margaret Atwood, Pat Conroy, Louis Auchincloss, Roy Blount, Jr., Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.,Henry Louis Gates, Jr., David Foster Wallace...and Erdich and Didion and Theroux {OH MY!})- their disagreements are duly noted too ...more
I'm falling in love with this dictionary and particularly enjoying its etymologies.
Anton Caldwell
Apr 29, 2012 Anton Caldwell marked it as to-read
American Heritage Dictionaries, Inc. (2001) The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language
ISBN-10: 0395825172, $11.68
Content/Scope: The entirety of the English Language, by definition. Literally.
Accuracy/Authority: American Heritage Dictionary is a widely-known and well-accepted publisher of American English dictionaries.
Arrangement/Presentation: No visuals, words in alphabetical order
Rationale: Every good reference collection should have various dictionaries.
Professional Review: http:
"WORD HISTORY: The lowly kiosk where newspapers are sold or advertisements are posted is like a child in a fairy tale raised by humble parents but descended from kings. . . The open structures referred to by the Turkish word were used as summer houses in Turkey and Persia. The first recorded use of 'kiosk' in English refers to these Middle Eastern pavilions, which Europeans imitated in their own gardens and parks."
Yes ... read it ... in college.

Best class I ever took, probably. And this is THE dictionary for American speakers of English... It's no OED, but still.... for something I can actually house in my dwelling, this is it! I have two editions, in fact - the one pictured here that I've has since college (poor thing is nearly coverless) and my new one I bought as a present to myself when I renewed my teaching license
Allison Lorraine
It was around the house in my childhood in the 70's--more comprhensive by far than Merriam-Webster, which I didn't encounter a preference for in others until I attended a community college! I loved the pictures. A WXRT (Chicago radio station) broadcaster at one time before the Internet existed pointed out that it was marvelous because the word "cleavage" was illustrated using a photo of Marilyn Monroe!
Dave/Maggie Bean
Interesting. This one was in my list of recommendations.

Although I hadn't thought to add it, I've been using it for years. It certainly isn't the OED (What is?), but it's a good choice, especially for the price. Also in its favor: it's an etymological dictionary with a 45-page appendix of hypothetical Proto-Indo-European word roots.
Sep 24, 2007 Gavin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: old people who are afraid of their computers
Q: who in the room actually uses a print dictionary if they've got wireless internet?
A: Nobody!

So, before the dictionary goes the way of the do-do, the auroch, and the pay-phone ... go out and buy this excellent specimen. It's got pictures. It's got a picture of an auroch! Hot diggity dog.
Sep 04, 2013 Heather added it
Shelves: we-own-this
I received this as a high school graduation gift over 20 years ago. Most times, words we look up are included, but my children get a kick out of the times when a word is too new for the "big dictionary" and we end up looking for its meaning online.
Michael Hogan
Jan 13, 2008 Michael Hogan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People confused about words.
Though a little matter-of-fact, from A "aardvark" to Z "zymurgy" The American Heritage Dictionary can ameliorate your lexicon arsenal!
Yes, I actually did read the dictionary. It was the "text" book for a class I took in college. We had to read 50 pages a night.
The etymologies are not as good in the current edition as they were in the past . . . how sad . . .
Sep 27, 2007 Michael rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All english speaking people
Shelves: reference
What can you say: an indispensable tool with many informative drawings tables and photos. I use it everyday!
It's the best book ever!!!! It has all of the words of the English language. It's amazing!!!!!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristina  UK
an awesome dictionary, and i've been known to collect them...
My favorite English dictionary by a long shot, so to speak.
Good dictionary. Nice and prescriptive.
A state-of-the-art dictionary.
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