The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

ISBN: 0618701729
ISBN 13: 9780618701728
By: Joseph P. Pickett Houghton Mifflin Company

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About this book

This newly updated edition of America’s favorite dictionary features revised biographical and geographical entries as well as up-to-date charts and tables for topics such as world currencies and chemical elements. Among the 500 entries new to this update are Amber Alert, blogosphere, gravitino, halo effect, hawala, lycopene, malware, micropolis, proteome, Qi Gong, SARS, shout-out, speed dating, sudoku, Texas hold’em, text message, and wiki.The renowned American Heritage® Usage Panel, a group of more than 200 distinguished writers, scholars, and scientists, offers advice on problems of grammar and style; engaging notes explain word histories and clarify differences among synonyms; thousands of quotations and example sentences show words in context; and elegant definitions are enhanced by 4,000 full-color photographs, drawings, and maps, making this one of the most readable dictionaries available anywhere.This dictionary can also be purchased with a fully loadable Windows® / Mac® CD-ROM that contains the entire text of the updated Fourth Edition, 68,000 audio pronunciations, 1,000 full-color photographs and illustrations, and a college-level thesaurus with more than 260,000 synonyms. The CD-ROM has spell-check capability and can be used in conjunction with any Microsoft® Office application to get definitions at the click of a mouse.

Reader's Thoughts


GREAT book

Anton Caldwell

American Heritage Dictionaries, Inc. (2001) The American Heritage Dictionary of the English LanguageISBN-10: 0395825172, $11.68Content/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 orderRationale: Every good reference collection should have various dictionaries.Professional Review:

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: 423Description: 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. Purpose: To help students know the meaning, spelling, parts of speech, and pronunciation of words. Validity: The publishing company is reputable and has had many award winning authors, books, etc. Format: The book in alphabetical order with 2,084 pages. Arrangement and Presentation: The book is divided alphabetically. Diversity: This book is great for students from other cultures as it is updated. Many of the words they may have questions about such as podcast, were not even words in previous editions of this dictionary and others. Professional Review: Bulson, C. (2012, Feb 15). Booklist review: The American heritage dictionary of the English language, fifth edition . Retrieved from


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, making the experience of lifting this hefty book so much fun. Check out the living language notes, the regional patterns of speech portion, word histories, usage notes... It's tough to put down.

Karen Jean Matsko Hood

A classic stand by to read for all who simply love wordsThe American Heritage Dictionary

Naima Arbaoui

its full of words :)


The right dictionary for you, for me, for everybody!


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.

Carrie Fitch

Review by Carrie FitchThe American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.).(2011). Boston, MA: Houghton- Mifflin.Description: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 Professional ReviewBulson, C. (2012). [Review of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.) Booklist. Retrieved from Dictionary-of-the-English-Language-/pid=5075301

Lauren Fynboe

American Heritage Dictionaries. (2012). The American heritage dictionary of the English language (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt. Citation by: Lauren FynboeReference Type: DictionaryCall 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 grades 8-12 and beyond. Accuracy, Authority, & Bias-American Heritage Dictionaries have long since been a trusted and valuable reference resource found in classrooms, libraries, and universities all over the world. Relation to Similar Works: Our library does have copies of previous editions; however, updated versions since the 3rd edition have not been purchased. This is a necessary text for our reference collection. Timeliness & Permanence: As previously mentioned, it is time for us to update this text in our library. It's permanence may be transient, as new editions will outdate this resource, but it is imperative that we have this reference and keep it up-to-date for future reference. Accessibility & Diversity-Dictionaries are necessary for every student in every classroom on our campus. Every classroom has a copy of the 3rd edition; it is important that the media center houses the most up-to-date version of this reference. Cost-This book costs approximately $50.00. Rationale: While my school does house earlier editions of this text, we have yet to purchase the latest edition, and I feel this is a must for any library. Review:" 'This new American Heritage is more suited to our national character than any other previous dictionary.' —New York Times Book Review"


My favorite English dictionary by a long shot, so to speak.


Item Title: The American heritage dictionary of the English language (5th ed.). (2011). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Citation created by: Michele PowellFormat: DictionaryCall Number: 423 AMEDescription: 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 and photos to illustrate most definitions and small maps of countries beside the countries entry.Professional Review: Bulson, C. (2012). Adult Reference [Review of the book The American heritage dictionary of the English language]. Booklist, 108(12), 1.Relevance and Relationship: This book would be appropriate for the collection analyzed during my field experience because the dictionaries the library currently has do not contain color illustrations and photos to illustrate most definitions. The illustrations make the dictionary more relevant for today’s teens. Hardcover edition is $60 and purchase of the dictionary entitles the owner to a free app version of the dictionary.Purpose: The purpose of this reference is to clarify student’s word usage, increase their word knowledge, and improve their word selection when writing.Validity: Reviewed by Booklist and the editors of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language are educated in linguistics or the history of the English language. Usage notes are based on the opinions of respected authors, scholars, etc. Format: Available in print and e-version. Two column format and contains color illustrations.Arrangement and Presentation: Alphabetical order, two column format, contains color illustrations of most words, and maps of countries including major cities. Diversity: Color illustrations make this dictionary accessible for English language learners and struggling readers.

Robbie Biddle

The American Heritage dictionary for learners of English (2002). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Citation by: Robbie BiddleType of Reference: DictionaryCall Number: Ref 423Content/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: This book is printed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Press. They are one of the more reputable publishers in the academic world. It was produced by a collection of people that included scholars, editors, and contributors.Arrangement/Presentation: The book is arranged with the words in alphabetical order. Pages are set up into two columns. Definitions also have example sentences associated with them.Relation to other works: This book and The New Oxford American Dictionary are considered to be the top two dictionaries of their type. Many people are questioning the effectiveness of these types of dictionaries within the Information Age.Accessibility/Diversity: Each new book comes with a passkey that allows the owner to access the online version of the dictionary or one may simply purchase the online version. This allows for access anywhere the user can surf the internet. The images and examples seem to take diversity into consideration.Cost: $60Professional Review: Bulson, C. (2013). Booklist review American heritage dictionary of the english language. Retrieved June 26, 2013, from

Mohammad El-Bishry

My favorite English dictionary.


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.

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