The Oxford Reverse Dictionary
The New Way to Find Those Elusive Words on The Tip of Your Tongue!
Publisher: Oxford University Press, New York, USA
Year Published: 1999
Pages: 406pp ISBN: 0-19860176-X
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My first reaction to this title was "what will they think of next?" It defeats the initial purpose of a dictionary. With this the word that you want would have to be at the tip of your tongue. That is precisely what the Reverse dictionary is designed to do. Let say you were talking about the "academic essay" that you are writing on "a group of four artworks with related themes" for "an employee examining manuscripts for style and consistency." It would be less cumbersome to say, "I am working on my dissertation on tetralogy for my copy editor." A slight drawback about this title is that it only works for standard terms so if you are searching for an archaic, literary or colloquial word you will most likely not find it here. The Reverse Dictionary lists about 31,000 items. Items that share a particular concept or theme are found as entries within the listing devoted to that item. For example, entries like gopher, mate, office boy, accomplice and abettor would all be found under the item assistant. Items with the same definition (such as airship and dirigible) are arranged together in one entry within the concept article. This dictionary is a great tool for those writers seeking that elusive word to finish that perfect paragraph. A student of English would also welcome this title which comes in paperback and is slightly bigger than pocket book size format.
[Review by Nicole Redman]