Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary is a large American dictionary, first published in 1966 as The Random House Dictionary of the English Language: The Unabridged Edition. Edited by Jess Stein, it contained 315,000 entries in 2256 pages, as well as 2400 illustrations. The CD-ROM version in 1994 also included 120,000 spoken pronunciations.
The Random House publishing company entered the reference book market after World War II. They acquired rights to the Century Dictionary and the Dictionary of American English , both out of print. Their first dictionary was Clarence Barnhart's American College Dictionary , published in 1947, and based primarily on The New Century Dictionary, an abridgement of the Century.
In the late 1950s, it was decided to publish an expansion of the American College Dictionary , which had been modestly updated with each reprinting since its publication. Under editors Jess Stein and Laurence Urdang, they augmented the American College Dictionary with large numbers of entries in all fields, primarily proper names, and published it in 1966 as The Random House Dictionary of the English Language: The Unabridged Edition. It was the first dictionary to use computers in its compilation and typesetting.
In his preface to the 1966 edition, Stein argued (p. vi) that the Random House Dictionary steers "a linguistically sound middle course" between the "lexicographer's Scylla and Charybdis: should the dictionary be an authoritarian guide to 'correct' English or should it be so antiseptically free of comment that it may defeat the user by providing him with no guidance at all?"In 1982 Random House published The Random House ProofReader, a computer spell checker based on its dictionary.
An expanded second edition of the printed dictionary, edited by Stuart Berg Flexner, appeared in 1987, revised in 1993. This edition adopted the Merriam-Webster Collegiate practice of adding dates for the entry of words into the language. Unlike the Collegiate, which cited the date of the first known citation, Random House indicated a range of dates. For example, where the Collegiate gave 1676, Random House might offer 1670–80. This second edition was described as permissive by T. R. Reid in the Washington Post.
Random House incorporated the name Webster's into the dictionary's title after an appeals court overturned an injunction awarded to Merriam Webster restricting the name's use.The name Random House Webster's is now used on many Random House publications.
In 2001, Random House published its Webster's Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, based on the Second Edition of the Random House Dictionary of the English Language.
Versions of the dictionary have been published under other names, including Webster's New Universal Dictionary (which was previously the name of an entirely different dictionary), Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary, and Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language.
Dictionary.com's online dictionary bases its proprietary content on the Random House unabridged version.
A dictionary is a listing of words in one or more specific languages, often arranged alphabetically, which may include information on definitions, usage, etymologies, pronunciations, translation, etc. or a book of words in one language with their equivalents in another, sometimes known as a lexicon. It is a lexicographical reference that shows inter-relationships among the data.
Webster's Dictionary is any of the dictionaries edited by Noah Webster in the early nineteenth century, and numerous related or unrelated dictionaries that have adopted the Webster's name. "Webster's" has become a genericized trademark in the U.S. for dictionaries of the English language, and is widely used in English dictionary titles. Merriam-Webster is the corporate heir to Noah Webster's original works, which are in the public domain.
Merriam-Webster, Inc., is an American company that publishes reference books and is especially known for its dictionaries.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (AHD) is an American dictionary of English published by Boston publisher Houghton Mifflin, the first edition of which appeared in 1969. Its creation was spurred by the controversy over the perceived permissiveness of the Webster's Third New International Dictionary. The third edition had more than 350,000 entries and meanings.
Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language is an American dictionary first published in 1951 and since 2012 published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
The Imperial Dictionary of the English Language: A Complete Encyclopedic Lexicon, Literary, Scientific, and Technological, edited by Rev. John Ogilvie (1797–1867), was an expansion of the 1841 second edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary. It was published by W. G. Blackie and Co. of Scotland, 1847–1850 in two large volumes.
Stuart Berg Flexner (1928–1990) was a lexicographer, editor and author, noted for his books on the origins of American words and expressions, including I Hear America Talking and Listening to America; as co-editor of the Dictionary of American Slang and as chief editor of the Random House Dictionary, Second Edition.
Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English orthography, the two most notable variations being British and American spelling. Many of the differences between American and British English date back to a time before spelling standards were developed. For instance, some spellings seen as "American" today were once commonly used in Britain, and some spellings seen as "British" were once commonly used in the United States.
Irregardless is a word sometimes used in place of regardless or irrespective, which has caused controversy since the early twentieth century, though the word appeared in print as early as 1795.
Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged was published in September 1961. It was edited by Philip Babcock Gove and a team of lexicographers who spent 757 editor-years and $3.5 million. The most recent printing has 2,816 pages, and as of 2005, it contained more than 476,000 vocabulary entries, 500,000 definitions, 140,000 etymologies, 200,000 verbal illustrations, 350,000 example sentences, 3,000 pictorial illustrations and an 18,000-word Addenda section.
A pronunciation respelling for English is a notation used to convey the pronunciation of words in the English language, which does not have a phonemic orthography.
The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary or OSPD is a dictionary developed for use in the game Scrabble, by speakers of American and Canadian English.
The American College Dictionary was the first Random House dictionary and was later expanded to create the Random House Dictionary of the English Language. First published in 1947, The American College Dictionary was edited by Clarence Barnhart based on the 1927 New Century Dictionary.
Merriam–Webster's Dictionary of English Usage is a usage dictionary published by Merriam-Webster, Inc., of Springfield, Massachusetts. It is currently available in a reprint edition (1994) ISBN 0-87779-132-5 or ISBN 978-0-87779-132-4.
The lists of Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year are ten-word lists published annually by the American dictionary-publishing company Merriam-Webster, Inc., which feature the ten words of the year from the English language. These word lists started in 2003 and have been published at the end of each year. At first, Merriam-Webster determined its contents by analyzing page hits and popular searches on its website. Since 2006, the list has been determined by an online poll and by suggestions from visitors to the website.
The English word twat is a vulgarism which literally means the vulva or vagina, and is used figuratively as a derogatory epithet. In British English the epithet denotes an obnoxious or stupid person of either sex, whereas in American English it is rarer and usually applied to a woman. In Britain the usual current pronunciation is ; the older pronunciation, still usual in America, is, reflected in the former variant spelling twot. The literal sense is first attested in 1656, the epithet in the 1930s. The word's etymology is uncertain. The American Heritage Dictionary suggests a conjectural Old English word *thwāt, "a cut", cognate with Old Norse þveit (thveit). Jonathon Green suggests a connection with twitchel, a dialect term for a narrow passage.