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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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      • English
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Mar 2015
    • Posts: 1

    Smile Which dictionary do I need?

    Hello, all.

    I'm a 37 year old native speaker of English. I do a lot of writing, especially technical writing with regards to medicine and law. I also enjoy reading science fiction and classic novels. I frequently need to look up French and Latin that have been borrowed into English. I need a good dictionary. I need the meanings. I'm not so much interested in usage or etymology.

    Recent words that I have had to look up include: punctilious, Elysian, martinet, peevish, vestiaire.

    The Chamber's Dictionary is the best I can find on the shelf of any local bookstore. It could be a bit inferior to what I need, though. The Collins English Dictionary has fewer words and the pages are very thin. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary is pretty good but I still think the Chamber's is the best I've seen so far. But I will have to order it in and I can't examine the dictionary until after I've bought it.

    Should I be looking at a multi-volume dictionary? What's the next step up from the Chamber's dictionary?


  2. Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 25,709

    Re: Which dictionary do I need?

    Welcome to the forum, Richard.

    Before you spend any money on paper dictionaries which are going to go out of date in a few years, why not avail yourself of, a site which searches dozens of free online dictionaries — many of which give etymologies, foreign translation and pronunciations, and most of which are regularly updated.

    Furthermore, if all these resources fail to satisfy, just ask us! We love a challenge and there's not much we can't help you with between us.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 31-Mar-2015 at 18:38.

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