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Best Dictionary For Word Origins?


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I've been browsing through dictionaries at the bookstore looking for one I like, and I think the one I settled on when I was there last was an Oxford...it must have been The Oxford New American Dictionary, because it keeps coming up very insistently when I search, but that just doesn't sound right to me. The preview on amazon is very small, but it doesn't look right, either.


We have a good college dictionary, but it doesn't have word origins. That's really what I'm looking for.


Any ideas?

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I get a lot of use out of the CDROM version of The Shorter Oxford. It's of course not as complete as the OED, but usually is sufficient. The electronic version also permits searches within definitions, so you can search for key root words.


Here are two a random example (red indicates "usage since"):


meninges /0mɪˈnɪndʒi:z/ noun pl. Also (rare) in sing. meninx /ˈmi:nɪŋks/. M16.

[ORIGIN Modern Latin from Greek mēnigx, mēnigg- membrane.]


The three membranes enveloping the brain and spinal cord: the dura mater, arachnoid, and pia mater.


meningeal adjective of or pertaining to the meninges L18. meningic adjective (rare) = meningeal E19.





dingy /0ˈdɪn(d)ʒi/ adjective. M18.

[ORIGIN Perh. ult. referrable to Old English dynǵe dung, manured land, from dung noun: see -y¹.]


1 Dirty, soiled. dial. M18.


2 Disagreeably devoid of brightness or freshness of colour, esp. from grime or neglect; drab, dirty-looking. In Botany & Zoology (formerly gen.), of a naturally sombre colour. M18.


Disraeli Its plumage of a dingy, yellowish white. W. Gerhardie A bare and dingy room in a…shabby hostel. fig.: H. James She's not for a dingy little man of letters; she's for…the bright rich world.


dingy skipper a Eurasian skipper, Erynnis tages, which has grey-brown wings with dark markings.


dingily adverb E19. dinginess noun E19.

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No dice on the subscription, as far as I can tell. I looked at a preview of the New Shorter, but it's fuzzy. I'm having a hard time getting a clear look at the entries. I wish the purchase of the NOAD included the iPod app. The app is $30, but I wouldn't want just an app. I want the nice, solid book and rustling pages.


Bookmarked that link, Capt_Uhura! It looks like a good supplement. What I'm really looking for, though, is an all-around workhorse.

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