Dictionaries and thesauruses

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Oxford Dictionary of English (hardback, paperback and ebook, Oxford University Press, 2010)

This dictionary is based on the Oxford Corpus, so it’s all about current English usage.

OUP gives a discount to SfEP members on more than 220 OUP dictionaries and language reference titles. Full details can be found in the Members' area.

Online access to Oxford dictionaries is also possible using your library card or ATHENS number.


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Concise Oxford English Dictionary (hardback, Oxford University Press, 2011)

This one-volume version combines a succinct yet approachable style with coverage of everyday as well as specialist terms.

OUP gives a discount to SfEP members on more than 220 OUP dictionaries and language reference titles. Full details can be found in the Members' area.

Online access to Oxford dictionaries is also possible using your library card or ATHENS number.


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Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary includes CD-ROM (paperback, Collins Cobuild, 8th edn, 2014)

Grammar and context plus additional information on synonyms, pragmatics and frequency.


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New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (hardback, Oxford University Press, 2014)

Provides recommended spellings, variant forms, US spellings, confusable words, foreign italicized terms, cultural references and proper names.

OUP gives a discount to SfEP members on more than 220 OUP dictionaries and language reference titles. Full details can be found in the Members' area.

Online access to NODWE is also possible using your library card or ATHENS number.


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New Oxford Spelling Dictionary (hardback, Oxford University Press, 2014)

Essential guidance on spelling and form, including capitalization, hyphenation of compounds and UK and US spelling; clear indication of both primary (preferred) and secondary points for word division at line endings; prepared in consultation with professionals in the field, and endorsed by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.

OUP gives a discount to SfEP members on more than 220 OUP dictionaries and language reference titles. Full details can be found in the Members' area.

Online access to NODWE is also possible using your library card or ATHENS number.


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Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage edited by Jeremy Butterfield (hardback, Oxford University Press, 4th edn, 2015)

OUP gives a discount to SfEP members on more than 220 OUP dictionaries and language reference titles. Full details can be found in the Members' area.

Online access to Fowler's is also possible using your library card or ATHENS number.


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The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians 20 volume set (paperback/hardback, Macmillan Publishers Limited, 1995/2001)

The full set is a tiny bit pricy for most pockets, so online access to this resource is most common:

Oxford Music Online hosts Grove Music Online and other music reference including the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music (6th edn, Oxford University Press, print 2007/ online 2016), The Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (2nd edn, 5 vols, Oxford University Press, print 2014/ online 2015), The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd edn, 8 vols, Oxford University Press, 2013) and The Grove Book of Operas (2nd edn, Oxford University Press, print 2006/online 2008) among others.

This site is subscription only, but if you can access the Oxford Reference suite with your library card you may be able to use it here too. Several titles are accessible from both sites.


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The Grove Dictionary of Art edited by Jane Turner (paperback/hardback, 34 vols, Oxford University Press, 2003)

Again, probably too pricy for most pockets and available through subscription online at Oxford Art Online and via the Oxford Reference suite, with your library card, ATHENS number or by paid subscription.


A wide variety of subject reference books are available to search through the Oxford Reference suite, with your library card, ATHENS number or by paid subscription, most subjects are covered, from archaeology to law, linguistics, medicine, religion, science, social sciences and culture.


Thesaurus

There is a wide variety of thesaurus products, online and in print or ebook form, set out in a variety of methods. These range from the synonyms available within a word-processing package such as Microsoft Word to free online websites http://www.collinsdictionary.com/english-thesaurus, http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus, http://www.thesaurus.com/ and https://www.visualthesaurus.com/ to print and ebook copies such as Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases by George Davidson (paperback, Penguin Reference, 2004), Collins Gem English Thesaurus (paperback, Collins, 2016), Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases Super 2011 Edition by Peter Mark Roget (ebook, Niche, 2011) and Oxford Paperback Thesaurus which includes three months’ subscription to Oxford Dictionaries Pro online (paperback , Oxford University Press, 2012) among many others.