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Dictionaries & Reference Books

Learn a new language easily and quickly improve your vocabulary by getting the right set of dictionaries. These are books and software containing words, their definitions, and sample sentences. You can use them as reference books to quickly look up rare and difficult words as well as unfamiliar expressions. Staples® carries a wide selection of dictionaries in both print and digital forms as a part of our education and school supplies.  

Pick From Different Types of Dictionaries
The first factor to consider when looking for a dictionary is language. Make sure it is in a language you can read. Monolingual lexicons are the most popular. If you are learning a new language, get a bilingual edition. Monolingual editions are usually more advanced and provide wider collections of words, example sentences, idioms, and phrasal verbs. Bilingual ones are simpler and mostly serve as translators and introductions to second languages.

There are two types of monolingual lexicons: those meant for native speakers and those written for learners. Learner editions contain simpler explanations and other aids to help readers quickly understand a second language. Editions for native speakers contain more rare words with concise explanations and fewer example sentences.

Choose Between Print and Electronic Dictionaries
Print lexicons usually come in thick tomes that sit on desks and bookshelves. There are also slim, pocket editions but these have smaller word libraries and are best for quick references. Digital lexicons offer the large and rich word libraries of big print editions without the bulk. They are available in different forms including CD or DVD discs you can read with your computer, apps for smartphones and tablets, online resources hosted on the web, and dedicated devices called PEDs.

PEDs or Personal Electronic Dictionaries are handheld devices that typically feature flip-up screens and keyboards. They have internal flash memories that can store multiple lexicons, thesauruses, translators, and encyclopedias. Digital lexicons are easier to search than print editions. They also offer audio recordings that can help learners with word pronunciations. It is also possible to update most of them with new words and definitions. Print lexicons, on the other hand, do not require separate devices, the internet, or electricity to work. You can use them anywhere and for as long as you want.

Should You Own Multiple Dictionaries?
Yes. You should have at least two lexicons and from different publishers. Doing this will give you access to a larger word library. If one provides an unclear definition for a word, you can consult the other for a more detailed explanation. Choose a learners' lexicon if you already have a general-use or native speaker edition.

Are There Special-Use Dictionaries?
You can often find dictionaries and children's books combined with other reference sources. One common combination is a dictionary and thesaurus in one book. Dictionaries designed for kids of varying ages are popular and helpful for teaching and research. Other special options include rhyming volumes, synonyms and antonyms, and ones that help teach spelling and phonics.

Are There Field-Specific Dictionaries?
Yes. Lexicons dedicated to specific fields only have words used by people in those disciplines. They provide a more in-depth explanation of terms and use technical words that are familiar to those studying or practicing in those fields. Common examples include law and medical dictionaries.
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Edupress® My Own Books My Spelling Dictionary
Item : 842098 / Model : EP-111
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 3 - 8 and grades pre-school - 2nd
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$21.99
10/Bundle
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Merriam Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, Hardcover (AVT-FSP0467)
Item : MERFSP0471 / Model : FSP0471
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  • Combination dictionary and thesaurus with synonyms printed below definitions.
  • Package Includes: Include one all-in-one dictionary.
  • Brand: Merriam Webster
$15.49
Each
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Merriam-Webster Elementary Dictionary, New Edition, Hardcover
Item : 1610037 / Model : MW-6763
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  • Published by Merriam Webster on 08/31/2013
  • Written by Merriam-Webster
  • Comprises of 824 pages in hardcover format for easy handling
$19.29
Each
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Merriam-Webster® Thesaurus
Item : 931725 / Model : MW-8508
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 9+ and grades 8th & up
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$21.79
3/Bundle
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Merriam-Webster® Rhyming Dictionary, 2nd Edition
Item : 848771 / Model : MW-8540
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 3+ and grades pre-school - 12th
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$14.99
3/Bundle
1
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Edupress® My Phonic Dictionary, 25/Pack
Item : 876352 / Model : EP-112C
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 3 - 8 and grades pre-school - 2nd
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$34.29
Pack
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American Education Dictionary Resource Book
Item : 806247 / Model : 0769633080
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  • Grades 6 - 12
  • A resource of commonly used words and their meanings
  • Designed in a compact size for easy travel
$5.69
Each
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Webster's 769615902 English/Spanish Dictionary
Item : 806234 / Model : 0769615902
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  • Product Type: Dictionary
  • Dimensions: (H x W x L) 0.61" x 5" x 7.7"
  • Grade: 6th to 12th grade
$3.89
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Dome® U.S. Zip Code Directory
Item : 202499 / Model : 5100
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$7.99
Each
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Merriam-Webster® Intermediate Dictionary
Item : 849029 / Model : MW-6978
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 11 - 14 and grades 5th - 8th
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$21.99
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The American Heritage® Office Edition Dictionary
Item : 462063 / Model : 1466418
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  • Special emphasis on vocabulary of high technology, science and medicine
  • 960 pages
  • 4 3/16" x 6 7/8".
$10.49
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Merriam-Webster® Pocket Thesaurus
Item : 895586 / Model : MW-524X
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 3+ and grades pre-school - 12th
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$26.39
4/Bundle
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Webster's New World Dictionary Webster's New World Paperback
Item : 644068 / Model : 9780743467513
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  • No. Of Pages: 704 Pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publishing Date: January 1, 2003
$8.89
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Merriam-Webster® School Thesaurus
Item : 848719 / Model : MW-1783
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 14 - 18 and grades 9th - 12th
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$37.99
Each
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt American Heritage® Spanish Dictionary, 2nd Ed, Office Ed Paperback
Item : 440572 / Model : H21079
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  • Features American English and Latin American Spanish
  • Over 7,000 words and phrases with synounyms and example sentences
  • 640 pages
$9.19
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Merriam-Webster® "First Dictionary" Book, Reference Books
Item : 934622 / Model : MW-2741
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 5 - 7 years and grade kindergarten - 2nd
  • Language: English
  • Subject: Language arts
$18.69
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Edupress® My Own Books My Phonic Dictionary
Item : 874862 / Model : EP-112
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 3 - 8 and grades pre-school - 2nd
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$8.69
Each
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A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback
Item : 520443 / Model : 9780199585892
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  • No. Of Pages: 832 Pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publishing Date: October 28, 2010
$14.89
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Merriam-Webster® Collegiate® Thesaurus, 2nd Edition
Item : 895574 / Model : MW-2697
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 14 - 18 and grades 9th - 12th
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$20.49
Each
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Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right Bill Bryson Paperback
Item : 651423 / Model : 9780767910439
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  • No. Of Pages: 256 Pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books
  • Publishing Date: September 14, 2004
$12.29
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Merriam-Webster® Spanish English Visual Dictionary, Flexible Paperback
Item : 934876 / Model : MW-2925
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  • Language: Spanish, english
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
  • Format: Flexible Paperback
$33.89
Each
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Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary Daniel Jones Paperback
Item : 620189 / Model : 9780521152532
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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • No. Of Pages: 616 Pages
  • Language: English
$32.99
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Bulk Buys Websters Spanish - English Dictionary - Case of 48(DLRDY206453)
Item : 24010341 / Model : DLRDY206453
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  • Product Type - English Doictionary
  • Case of 48
  • Size - 5 x 7.5 in.
$107.99
Each
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Houghton Mifflin Webster's II Dictionary
Item : 607016 / Model : 1019935
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  • Over 60,000 entries and more than 1,000 new words
  • Contains biographical and geographical sections, and tables for currency, measurements and the Bible
  • 896 pages (4-1/4 x 6-7/8)
$8.29
Each