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The New Oxford American Dictionary

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An American dictionary--in the Oxford tradition. Produced by Oxford's U.S. Dictionaries Program, and drawing on the expertise of scores of American scholars and advisors, The New Oxford American Dictionary sets the standard of excellence for lexicography in this country. Here is the most accurate and richly descriptive picture of American English ever offered in any dictionary. Oxford's American editors drew on our 200-million-word databank of contemporary North American English, plus the unrivaled citation files of the world-renowned Oxford English Dictionary. We started with American evidence--an unparalleled resource unique to Oxford. Our staff logged more than 50 editor-years, checking every entry and every definition. Oxford's ongoing North American Reading Program, begun in the early 1980s, keeps our lexicographers in touch with fresh evidence of our language and usage--in novels and newspapers, in public records and magazines. To provide unprecedented clarity, the entries are organized around core meanings, eliminating clutter and confusion, especially in longer entries. Rather than a litany of numbered senses, the structure of each entry plainly shows the major meaning or meanings of the word, plus any related senses, supplemented by illustrative, in-context examples of actual usage. In short, The New Oxford American Dictionary is designed to serve the user clearly, simply, and quickly, with a full measure of information value and precise guidance. Truly a revolution in the art and craft of dictionary-making, The New Oxford American Dictionary provides the in-depth and up-to-date coverage that all users need and expect--for reading and study, for technical terms, for language guidance. It continues the tradition of scholarship and lexicographic excellence that are the hallmarks of every Oxford dictionary.

Kindle Edition

First published January 1, 1962

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About the author

Oxford University Press

2,005 books219 followers
Oxford University Press (OUP), a department of the University of Oxford, is the largest university press in the world. The university became involved in printing around 1480, becoming a major source of Bibles, prayer books and scholarly works. It took on the Oxford English Dictionary project in the late 19th century, and in order to meet the ever-rising costs of the work, it expanded into publishing children's books, school text books, music, journals, and the World's Classics series. OUP is committed to major financial support of the university and to furthering the university's excellence in scholarship, research and education through its publishing.

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5 stars
3,885 (49%)
4 stars
1,622 (20%)
3 stars
924 (11%)
2 stars
598 (7%)
1 star
891 (11%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 156 reviews
Profile Image for blueMeridian.
36 reviews5 followers
September 3, 2007
I have a confession to make: I love dictionaries. I love to read dictionaries. Each entry is like a mini-story! The implications of a word's history!

Although a bit hefty for casual reading, The New Oxford American Dictionary covers an admirable portion of the English language, complete with numerous slang references (a warning for the purists) and many illustrative icons. Currently my favorite dictionary.
Profile Image for Madelyn.
16 reviews3 followers
Want to read
January 22, 2012
I kinda put this on as a joke, but as I'm nearing the district spelling bee, I'm thinking I actually should read it.
August 7, 2015
My Kindle uses this dictionary. Very often, I am told the following....

"in·ter·po·la·tor: n. a person who interpolates something."

150 reviews
July 6, 2017
It's a dictionary. It is a good reference tool.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Dana Ross.
77 reviews1 follower
January 26, 2018
Cover to cover page turner. I couldn't put it down.
I read and reread it almost every day.
Profile Image for bARRY.
36 reviews4 followers
September 13, 2007
it has a definition for "blah," although not for the word "janky."
203 reviews2 followers
June 11, 2016
How does one read a dictionary? It is in use. A bit wordy. I have not read it front to back.
Profile Image for Kirsten.
157 reviews2 followers
December 14, 2017
Always a classic you will return to again and again! I return to read favorite passages frequently.

{Added when Kindle opened it}.
Profile Image for T.Kay Browning.
Author 2 books5 followers
June 21, 2020
My kid apparently gave the kindle dictionary two stars. My hope for the future is diminished.
Profile Image for Julia.
25 reviews
February 3, 2018
Look, a dictionary never wears the label "read" in the past tense. This is a valuable tool, and I frequently turn through its "pages" but, no, I have not "read" the entirety. Solid, easy to navigate, and dependable.
652 reviews2 followers
December 22, 2017
Date I finished this book: NEVER

Words are important regardless if by spoken word or written word, and it is best to know the meaning of a word in all uses, before you start putting it in your speech/writing patterns; also by knowing the meaning of words will you know the correct way to respond when they are aimed at you. The New Oxford is great to be on hand just to clarify a word or words that you might be a little foggy on or don't know at all, one should never just rely on others to convey the meaning of words in a message, because words do sometimes receive you different reactions from different people. It never hurts to learn the meaning of a new word, expanding ones vocabulary is a life long pleasure.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
266 reviews1 follower
July 11, 2017
ok I accidently opened this and now its saying I am reading this lol there needs to be a option to delete a book if you opened it by accident or you read a small amount and don't want to read it now or even if it's so awful you just can't read anymore. I don't like to review a book I haven't read all the way thru so putting an option for "have read so many chapters or pages but just not interesting" or something like that, just so you can get it off your list. I do look something up now and then in the dictionary but I sure don't read it like a book lol. But I sure will give it 5 stars because hey it's a dictionary that has good info in it so everyone should have one handy.
Profile Image for William Gregory.
10 reviews
August 10, 2021
What a thrill!
For all fans of reading, books, or even just words, this is a must read.
When on the search for my next book I was captivated by this tome sitting on one of the bookshelves I rarely look at (the one in the north east corner of the living room, not the large one in the corridor that leads on to the kitchen) and knew from the first glance at its thick and crinkled spine that this would be my next endeavour. And boy do I feel lucky that I did!

Sadly this was an American language book so there were some sections that were obviously not written with an Australian in mind, but I feel this gave me the opportunity to transplant myself in a different culture. Specifically the chapters on color, mom, and cilantro are eye-opening. For all Macquarie Dictionary fans out there (yes I’m talking to you) I would highly recommend this as a great jumping point for getting into foreign language dictionaries. I’m sure this excursion into the exotic pages of an unfamiliar language will prepare me for Collins German Pocket Dictionary (wish me luck!).

Now into some favourite sections:
Jeremiad, noun
A cautionary or angry harangue

Cad, noun
A man who acts with deliberate disregard for another's feelings or rights

Flecking, adjective
1. Of particular similarity to the smell of a foal
2. OR, a speed at which a frightened women runs in high heels

Beautiful, adjective
Generally pleasing : EXCELLENT

Pupplechuck, verb
To applaud the spectacular achievement of a loved one unexpectedly

This book will always have a place in my heart. It came to me at just the right time in my life. I was feeling empty, depressed, and enervated (lacking physical, mental, or moral vigor). This beast fell into my lap and nothings been the same since. I have a new lease on life. I have a reason to read. I have a lens through which to approach new literature.
Some may look down on dictionary readers as emotionally stunted, socially awkward, as missing out on the wonders of fiction, or the actually important facts presented in more general non-fiction. But I proudly stand in front of you (figuratively) and proclaim myself a dictionary reader!
And I invite you, if you will join me, to read words about words.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jim Syler.
52 reviews23 followers
July 21, 2012
The best dictionary of American English I've ever found. I wish they would kill most of the "personality" entries (I don't go to a dictionary to find out who Michael Jackson was), but that's just about the only flaw. This is the only prescriptive (as opposed to descriptive) dictionary of American English I'm aware of. This is the book I go to to find out what a word actually means, as opposed to how it's been used in popular culture in the last few years, which is how most dictionaries work.
Profile Image for Ella.
78 reviews2 followers
October 8, 2016
This is in place of the book jolt that i've read twice now and can't put double ups on so yeah. Jolts (By bernard Beckett) is a good book. You should read it.
Profile Image for Rob Grondahl.
3 reviews1 follower
August 18, 2017
Loved it! Probably could have used an editor. I think a lot of it is just made up.
6 reviews1 follower
Currently reading
January 25, 2018
I am not reading this book...........using as dictionary instead of one provided .
Profile Image for gabbi.
2 reviews
February 13, 2023
for starters, there was no character development and the plot lacked a character arc.
also, so many words were left out including my favorite words: snazzalicious and absofruitly.
ALSO SO MANY WORDS MISSPELLED just for starters caliphornia and sause were spelled like california and sauce
Displaying 1 - 30 of 156 reviews

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