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THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE:
A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPEDIC LEXICON, LITERARY, SCIENTIFIC,
JOHN OGILVIE, LL.D.,
Author of " The Comprehensive English Dictionary," "The Student's English Dictionary," &c. <£c.
CHARLES ANNANDALE, M.A.
ILLUSTRATED BY ABOVE THREE THOUSAND ENGRAVINGS PRINTED IN THE TEXT.
BLACKIE & SON, 49 AND 50 OLD BAILEY, EC;
GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, AND DUBLIN.
The present volume forms the first instalment of a New Edition of The Imperial DicTionary—a work which has heen accepted as a standard Lexicon of the English Language, and as one of the most extensively useful for the purposes of general reference and everyday requirement, for more than a quarter of a century. Since its first appearance, however, the advances made in the arts and sciences have been remarkably great, and multitudes of new words connected with all departments of human thought and action have been introduced or come into general use; hence a new and greatly augmented edition of this important work will no doubt be welcomed by all who value a Dictionary both full in vocabulary and ample in treatment.
This New Edition has been in preparation for above TEN YEARS, and so greatly has the vocabulary been augmented, and so extensive and important are the changes resulting from the revision, that the Imperial Dictionary, as now issued, may justly claim to be considered substantially a New Work.
The words or separate entries comprised in it will be increased by about a third, being now estimated in all at 130,000—a larger number than is contained in any other similar Dictionary.
As a Literary Dictionary it is intended to supply a key to the written works in the language, and an aid to the use of the language itself, by registering and explaining the various meanings which are or have been attached to words by writers both new and old, by explaining idiomatic phrases and peculiar constructions, by distinguishing obsolete from current meanings and usages, and by carefully distinguishing between words closely synonymous in signification. And as the real meanings of words and the grammatical constructions into which they enter are generally most clearly shown by means of illustrative quotations, vast numbers of these are given, many thousands of them being inserted in the present edition for the first time.
As an Enclyclopedic Dictionary it does not confine itself merely to giving the meanings of words, it gives also as a rule some account of the things to which words are applied, supplying valuable information in regard to subjects upon which a bare definition would convey little or no information. The encyclopedic character of the work adds greatly to its real usefulness as a book of reference, and, in conjunction with the numerous interesting quotations it contains, relieves it of the imputation common to Dictionaries of being unattractive reading. In fact, as was said in the preface to the former edition: "A simple inspection of its pages will show that, wherever it may be opened, The Imperial Dictionary presents something to interest and instruct—some useful fact stated in concise terms—some important maxim or sentiment in religion, morality, law, or civil policy; so that the charge usually preferred against English Dictionaries, namely, that they furnish but dry sort of reading, will not apply to this Dictionary."