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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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Merriam Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus, Hardcover (AVT-FSP0467)
Item : MERFSP0471
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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
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Edupress® My Own Books My Spelling Dictionary
Item : 842098
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  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
  • Format: paperback
$21.99
10/Bundle
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American Education Dictionary Resource Book
Item : 806247
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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
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Merriam-Webster Elementary Dictionary, New Edition, Hardcover
Item : 1610037
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  • Written by Merriam-Webster
  • Comprises of 824 pages in hardcover format for easy handling
  • ISBN#: 0877796769
$19.29
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Merriam-Webster® Thesaurus
Item : 931725
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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® School Thesaurus
Item : 848719
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  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
  • Format: paperback
$42.49
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Webster's 769615902 English/Spanish Dictionary
Item : 806234
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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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Merriam-Webster® Pocket Thesaurus
Item : 895586
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  • To aid in literacy and to build language skills
  • A thesaurus that fits in the palm of your hand
  • More than 85,000 words are featured in this compact compendium of synonyms, related words, and antonyms
$26.39
4/Bundle
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Merriam-Webster® Intermediate Dictionary
Item : 849029
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  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
  • Format: paperback
$19.99
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Merriam-Webster® Collegiate® Thesaurus, 2nd Edition
Item : 895574
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 14 - 18 and grades 9th - 12th
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$20.49
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Merriam-Webster® "First Dictionary" Book, Reference Books
Item : 934622
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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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Merriam-Webster® Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms
Item : 871804
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 9+ and grades 8th & up
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$8.29
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Merriam-Webster® Spanish English Visual Dictionary, Flexible Paperback
Item : 934876
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  • Language: Spanish, English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
  • Format: Flexible Paperback
$28.99
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Dome® U.S. Zip Code Directory
Item : 202499
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  • Alphabetical list of cities and towns in the U.S.
  • Features updated area code directory and cross reference by city and state
  • Latest postal rates for domestic and foreign mail, plus UPS® information
$7.99
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Merriam-Webster® Rhyming Dictionary, 2nd Edition
Item : 848771
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  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
  • Format: paperback
$14.99
3/Bundle
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Bulk Buys Websters Spanish - English Dictionary - Case of 48(DLRDY206453)
Item : 24010341
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  • Product Type - English Doictionary
  • Case of 48
  • Size - 5 x 7.5 in.
$107.99
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt American Heritage® Spanish Dictionary, 2nd Ed, Office Ed Paperback
Item : 440572
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  • Features American English and Latin American Spanish with 70,000 words and phrases and expanded idioms and example sentences for Spanish and English verb tables
  • Paperback, 640 pages
  • 640 pages
$9.19
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Edupress® My Own Books My Phonic Dictionary
Item : 874862
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 3 - 8 and grades pre-school - 2nd
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
$9.39
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Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right Bill Bryson Paperback
Item : 651423
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  • No. Of Pages: 256 Pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books
  • Publishing Date: September 14, 2004
$12.29
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A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback
Item : 520443
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  • No. Of Pages: 832 Pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publishing Date: October 28, 2010
$14.89
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt American Heritage Dictionary, 4th Ed, Office Ed., Paperback, 960 Pages, 1 3/5"H x 4 1/5"W x 6 7/8"L
Item : 462063
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  • American Heritage® Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Office Edition
  • 1 3/5"H x 4 1/5"W x 6 7/8"L
  • Contains over 70,000 entries with 3,000 new words and 400 illustrations
$10.49
Each
Webster's New World Dictionary Webster's New World Paperback
Item : 644068
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  • No. Of Pages: 704 Pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publishing Date: January 1, 2003
$8.89
Each
Merriam-Webster's Pocket Spanish-English Dictionary
Item : 801355
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  • Author: Merriam-Webster
  • Publisher: Merriam Webster
  • Paperback: 423 pages
$5.99
Each
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
Item : 801263
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  • Author: Joseph Gibaldi
  • Publisher: Modern Language Assn of Amer
  • Paperback: 292 pages
$18.69
Each