The Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Merriam-Webster

Published by Perfection Learning Prebound, 1983
ISBN 10: 0812401867 / ISBN 13: 9780812401868
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Synopsis: New edition! A handy, reliable, and authoritative dictionary of the words most frequently used in English. More than 75,000 definitions, 2,000 new word entries, and more than 150 illustrations. Expanded special features include a Handbook of Style, Basic English Grammar, Irregular English Verbs and Guide to Common Verb Collocations (both essential for ESL), and a new Overview of the Internet.

About the Author:

The Merriam brothers desired a continuity of editorship that would link Noah Webster's efforts with their own editions, so they selected Chauncey A. Goodrich, Webster's son-in-law and literary heir, who had been trained in lexicography by Webster himself, to be their editor in chief. Webster's son William also served as an editor of that first Merriam-Webster dictionary, which was published on September 24, 1847.

Although Webster's work was honored, his big dictionaries had never sold well. The 1828 edition was priced at a whopping $20; in 13 years its 2,500 copies had not sold out. Similarly, the 1841 edition, only slightly more affordable at $15, moved slowly. Assuming that a lower price would increase sales, the Merriams introduced the 1847 edition at $6, and although Webster's heirs initially questioned this move, extraordinary sales that brought them $250,000 in royalties over the ensuing 25 years convinced them that the Merriams' decision had been abundantly sound.

The first Merriam-Webster dictionary was greeted with wide acclaim. President James K. Polk, General Zachary Taylor (hero of the Mexican War and later president himself), 31 U.S. senators, and other prominent people hailed it unreservedly. In 1850 its acceptance as a resource for students began when Massachusetts ordered a copy for every school and New York placed a similar order for 10,000 copies to be used in schools throughout the state. Eventually school use would spread throughout the country. In becoming America's most trusted authority on the English language, Merriam-Webster dictionaries had taken on a role of public responsibility demanded of few other publishing companies. 

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Publisher: Perfection Learning Prebound
Publication Date: 1983
Book Condition: Good

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Published by Perfection Learning Prebound
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