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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. Ac.
CHARLES ANNANDALE, M.A.
ILLUSTRATED BY ABOVE THREE THOUSAND ENGRAVINGS PRINTED IN THE TEXT.
GLASGOW, EDINBURGH, AND DUBLIN.
The Century Co.
W. G. Blackie And Co., Trinter^
Publishers' Note To The American Edition.
This important English work is offered to the American public, without change or revision, in the belief that many American scholars will desire to have, for comparative reference, the dictionary which is commonly accepted in Great Britain as the standard authority upon the English language. More than ten years have been spent by the English editors in carefully revising the text of the present edition, with reference to new discoveries in philology, science, and mechanics, and in greatly augmenting the list of words and the illustrations. It is now probably the most comprehensive dictionary of the English language, and this fact, together with its encyclopaedic character, gives it great value as a book of reference for specialists and the general reader.
New York, January, 1883. THE CENTURY CO.
From The Preface To The English Edition.
The publication of The Imperial Dictionary of The English Language, as edited by Dr. Ogilvie, was commenced in January, 1847, and completed in the year 1850; in 1854 the publication of the Supplement was begun, and it was finished the following year (1855). In this form the Imperial Dictionary was before the public for more than a quarter of a century, and was widely accepted as a standard lexicon of the English language, and as one of the most useful for the purposes of general reference and every-day requirement; the latter fact being amply attested by its continuous and steady sale over that somewhat lengthened period of years.
An important and highly useful feature which distinguished this work very much from all other English Dictionaries was the employment of pictorial illustrations in the text. The idea of using pictorial illustrations in this manner seems to have originated with the well-known dictionary of Nathan Bailey, a certain number of wood-cuts, chiefly explanatory of heraldic and mathematical terms, being inserted in the edition of his dictionary published in 1726-27 (2 vols. 8vo), while a greater number was inserted in later editions. In no previous English Dictionary, however, .was this aid to the elucidation of definitions and descriptions carried into effect so thoroughly and systematically as in Ogilvie's Imperial Dictionary. In such high estimation was this new feature held that the publishers of other dictionaries, both in this country and America, have followed the same example.
But the never-ceasing process of growth, change, and expansion—to which the English, like all other living languages, is subject—having gone on with unabated rapidity since the first publication of this work, it had at length ceased to be sufficient for all requirements, more especially in a time of great intellectual activity such as the present. During the period comprising the last twenty-five or thirty years hosts of new words and terms connected with all departments of human thought and action have come into everyday use; much new light has been thrown on the etymology and history of English words, and