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The Oxford Reverse Dictionary [Paperback]

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Item description for The Oxford Reverse Dictionary by David Edmonds...

How do you find those elusive words that you just can't bring to mind but are on the tip of your tongue? Can you remember the word used to describe a fear of heights? Do you know the word for the plastic used for gramophone records? What is the word for a water slide at a swimming pool?
The Oxford Reverse Dictionary will help you find words you can't remember whereas a thesaurus will find alternatives to a word that you know. Words are grouped by subject-related key words, for example lapdog, pack, retriever, and hackles can all be found under the key word dog.

*Contains 31,000 entries listed under a wide range of subject areas and key words
* Ideal for crossword and other word game lovers who want to find the words that they are looking for
* A perfect vocabulary builder, it gives information on related adjectives, irregular plurals, and combining forms

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Pages   416
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.56" Width: 5.04" Height: 1.1"
Weight:   0.66 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 15, 2002
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0192801139  
ISBN13  9780192801135  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Edmonds

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Edmonds is a freelance lexicographer. He compiled the Reverse Dictionary supplement in the Oxford Compact Thesaurus.

David Edmonds was born in 1964.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Reference > Dictionaries & Thesauruses > English (British)
2Books > Subjects > Reference > Dictionaries & Thesauruses > General
3Books > Subjects > Reference > Dictionaries & Thesauruses > Synonyms & Antonyms
4Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > General
5Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages
6Books > Subjects > Reference > General
7Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language > General
8Books > Subjects > Reference > Words & Language

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Oxford Reverse Dictionary?

Oddly Useful  Jan 1, 2007
This useful, albeit odd, frustrating, and confusing reference work for the ostensible purposes of finding "associated" words can be more disappointing than useful. Example (1): I was looking for the word "Eucharist" -- as if one could forget such a word -- but it does not exist in this "dictionary," not under "Holy Communion" not under "Mass not under "Eucharist." Perhaps a hundred years ago, this word might not roll off the tip of a reverse dictionary, but for more than sixty years it has been the preferred appellation for all these "other" associated words. Example (2): I was looking for the name of a particular "pathology," but no entry for the word "pathology" exists. I pondered a while, and then my own reverse brain suggested "disease," a viola, "disease" has a host of pathologies. But even "disease" does not suggest . . . .

Two "features" of this reverse dictionary are baffling. The "associated" words are in bold, but the associated word's definition PRECEDES the word. Okay, this is a reversed world. Worse, perhaps, is how the "associations" are determined. Alphabetically would have been my obvious choice, since words are words, however associated. Not here, readers. The "associations" are by the editors' "degree of proximity." Proximity to what, you ask? Proximity to THEIR degree of association of words without any one else's reasons. Besides being entirely "arbitrary" (if not a bit egocentric), how can such "proximities" be determined, and assuming some standard could be found, how could anyone communicate those standards to those who are already in a search for what they cannot speak, mention, or find?

Alas, I almost threw this book in the fireplace. If any of us thought "plot" might be associated with "story," we'd be wrong. If we thought "plot" might be associated with "narrative," we'd again be wrong. So what do these editors associate "plot" with? I'm serious: "machination, Machiavellian, wheel-and-deal, synopsis." At least the "Ms" are together, even if nothing else is. The irony, here, is that the first-three "tangents" make more sense than "synopsis." How does synopsis relate to plot, and why aren't story and narrative a part of the plot? Because the "plot" is reversed against the user too stupid to find the association in the first place, if you don't object to reading explication before what's being explicated, that is.

Still, all these odd features notwithstanding, this book is sometimes useful, despite itself. But between you, me, and OUP, I suggest Random House's "Word Menu." Not quite the same, but certainly far more useful.
Hunting Down the Elusive Word  Aug 10, 2003
The Oxford Reverse Dictionary converges on the elusive word you canft bring to mind or do not know. It letfs you take a round about route by applying a concept, or asking a question to find the word you want. For example you probably canft recall the name of Japanese acupuncture. I thought of puncturing the skin with needles, but neither puncturing nor needles got me very far but it did raise the question, what is it? A treatment, this entry led me to the keyword therapy: shiatsu. You canft do that either with dictionary or thesaurus. I wondered whether there was a word to describe the fear of number thirteen. Under the keyword fear: triskaidekaphobia.

The Oxford Reverse Dictionary groups words by subject-related keywords: for example organ, advertorial, kill, D notice, silly season, chequebook journalism can all be found under the keyword: newspaper. A helpful feature is the apt and succinct and right-on-target definition that precedes every word or phrase. Taking a word out of the above list for example silly season is defined as high summer, when there is a dearth of serious news.

Presented in the most ideal format yet compiled to find and learn new words. Keywords are in bold print to assist with going back and forth from text to monitor to notes so you get the information you need in the shortest and easiest fashion. The typeset, layout, choice of paper and heft of the ORD will soon make it familiar and comfortable and a word tool of choice of the student, writer, crossword buff and anyone whose business is words. - - This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

A Boon for the Writer/Poet!  Jul 1, 2000
So often I'll have a word I need "on the tip of my tongue" and then it disappears. The Oxford Reverse Dictionary is a marvelous source for finding those elusive words. The other day I wanted the word for pig intestines used as food, so I looked under "pig" and there it was: "chitterlings." I find this an indispensable resource.

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