View Full Version : OT - Best US English Dictionary?

11-09-2005, 10:55 PM

Hi guys,

Am just about to purchase three new dictionaries for my household; one for Australian English, one of UK English and one for US English. Will be purchasing the Macquarie for Aust and Oxford for UK.

Could anyone please advise me on what is considered the best of the US English dictionaries. Is it the Websters, the Funk & Wagnalls or????


Best regards,

11-09-2005, 11:10 PM
For American English I choose Webster's College Dictionary. For Canadian English I choose Oxford or Gage. For British nothing but Oxford.

I use the same choices of publishers for my thesaurus's also.

Online dictionaries are too limited and Wikipedia is too subjective for my preferences.


11-09-2005, 11:51 PM
The best way to figure out what us 'mericans are actually saying:

11-10-2005, 01:35 AM
Thanks Owlsphone. That urban dictionary may come handy, so I don't have to guess what I write anymore. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

11-10-2005, 09:05 AM
OK guys,


Thanks for the replies. Looks like it'll be Webster's College Dictionary to complete my trio for US English.

(The Urban Dictionary could be a handy supplement to all three, as it appears to attract contributions from all over the English speaking world, not just the USA.)


Best regards,

11-10-2005, 12:03 PM
Webster's Dictionary is excellent and you would not go wrong using it. However, the American Heritage Dictionary is better and I would recommend it over Webster's any day.

11-10-2005, 09:05 PM
Hi MLudner,

Thanks for that alternative suggestion. I'll check out my local book stores to see if I can find a copy of the American Heritage Dictionary, to compare it. I don't recall ever having seen one on the shelves, though the Webster's is readily available here (Australia).

My finance manager (wife!) has agreed to this expenditure on the three dictionaries, so I'll be doing the shopping very soon.

Best regards,

11-10-2005, 09:45 PM
I've never seen the American Heritage book but I think you can trust MLudner. Websters is fine but I have to admit that some words are not even in there.

I heard Oxford produces a 20+ volume dictionary. I've seen volume A and it's huge. My goal is to have the complete set in the future. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/heart.gif


11-10-2005, 11:37 PM
OK Pirschjaeger, thanks.


Looks like the American Heritage if I can find it, the Webster's if I can't.

I intend to get the 'full' version of each dictionary, not the 'compact' versions.

That 20+ vol job from Oxford sounds marvellous but would almost certainly blow our household budget! As it is, I'm looking at somewhere between $80 and $100 Aust. per dictionary . (I recently purchased the 'compact' version of the Oxford for my boss at work and that was $50!)

But I regard these as an investment, especially for my son, who will be High School age in a couple of years.

Thanks again for the help, all of you.


Best regards,