Oxford English Dictionaries
Oxford English dictionaries are widely known and extensively used. They
also greatly vary in depth and size.
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Here I will review two of the most useful English-English Oxford
dictionaries for English learners:
Oxford English Dictionaries Part 1:
Elementary and Pre-Intermediate
Oxford Essential Dictionary
one of my favorite dictionaries.
It is a very simple dictionary for
beginners. What's great about it is that it uses simple
The problem with simple dictionaries is that sometimes they
simple, meaning, they can mislead
words, and leave you in confusion.
Oxford Essential Dictionary, however, has a great balance:
it is very
easy to understand, and it does not leave out critical data.
In other words, it can be ideal for learners of English and/or school
here is a typical example to illustrate what
mean. Let's have a look at the word "abolish".
Here is a definition from Merriam
Webster's On-Line Dictionary
= "to end the observance or effect of: annul."
(Note: Observance = to behave according to a particular law or custom.
Annul = to cancel something legally.)
Here is the definition from Oxford
= "to stop or end something by law."
So unless your level of English is VERY good, Merriam Webster's On-Line
Dictionary may be too difficult. You must be able to look up a word and
understand the definitions.
So what does Oxford Essential Dictionary include?
words and phrases explained
in clear, simple English.
- The 2,000
most important and useful words to learn at this level are
clearly marked as keywords so that learners give them special attention.
example sentences throughout the dictionary to
help learners use the words correctly.
- 500 notes on spelling, grammar and pronunciation to
help learners avoid mistakes and build their vocabulary.
- Over 400 illustrations
throughout the dictionary and a colorful 16-page Picture Dictionary
section help to explain difficult words or to show a word's different
- 16-page study section gives extra help on topics such
as talking on the telephone, letter writing, and talking about dates
- You can also get it with a CD-ROM. This lets
you search the dictionary and hear spoken British and American pronunciation of all
the words and listen to spoken
- The CD-ROM also contains games and exercises to give
more practice in vocabulary learning and help prepare for standard exams.
Oxford's Essential Dictionary is exactly as the name suggests:
essential. Meaning, it has the most essential and important words of
English, but not all of them. As your level of English advances you
will need to supplement it with a bigger dictionary, which would have
more words, and more data about each word.
With that said, this simple dictionary is quite priceless for
beginners. it is a truly helpful guide for
students in the first stages of learning English, simply
because it helps you learn the most
to use them
your copy of Oxford Essential Dictionary by Oxford
Oxford English Dictionaries Part 2:
Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
I must admit
that Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
is my all
It is just so simple and to the point! A true English learner's
the difference between it and his "little brother" the Oxford
- It has much much more words defined.
The Oxford Essential Dictionary only has the most basic and common
words of English.
- It is more thorough and gives much more defintions.
- It gives much more idioms.
- It gives a list of phrasel verbs under
- It shows the natural usage of the
words by making the typical expressions bold.
Let's actually compare them, using the word "admire."
the Oxford Essential Dictionary:
Admire = to think or say that
somebody or something is very good.
- I really
admire you for doing such a difficult job.
- They were
admiring the view from the top of the tower.
the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:
1. to respect somebody for
what they are or for what they have done.
admire somebody/something: I
really admire your enthusiasm.
- You have to admire
the way he
handled the situation.
somebody/something for something: The
school is widely admired for its excellent teaching.
somebody for doing something: I don't
agree with her, but I admire her for sticking to her principles.
to look at something and think that it is attractive and/or impressive.
stood back to admire his handiwork.
just been admiring your new car.
just sit and admire the view.
as you can see, the Oxford Essential Dictionary is much more simple,
but the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary is much more thorough and
precise, without really being much harder to understand.
Which one should you use? That is up to you. Judge your level of
English and decide accordingly.
are some more example definitions from the Oxford Advanced Learner's
Abolish = abolish something:
to officially end a law, a system or an institution.
- This tax
should be abolished.
= a form of energy from charged elementary particles, usually supplied
as electric current through cables, wires, etc. for lighting, heating,
driving machines, etc.
- a waste of electricity
- The electricity is
off (= there is no electric power supply)
= a tool that is used in the house.
Now, this wonderful dictionary is available online for free
However, if you buy the book and CD-ROM versions
you get some extra cool features:
your copy of Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary by Oxford
- Oxford Writing
Tutor and Oxford iWriter
- Integrated thesaurus
and word origins
- Thousands of extra example sentences
- Topic collocations
(combinations of words
that are used together frequently) and topic vocabulary
- Different exercises
with different accents