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Dictionaries & Reference Books

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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's Dictionary & Thesaurus
Item: 1235983 / Model : MW-8637
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 12 - 14 years and grades 7th - 12th
  • Language: English
  • Reference books type: Dictionary & thesaurus
9.99 $9.99
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Webster's New Notebook Dictionary, 4 EA/BD
Item: 842057 / Model : AH9780618611829
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  • Features more than 35,000 concise and up-to-date definitions in a handy three-hole punch format
  • A punctuation guide, as well as metric conversion and measurement tables, makes this an ideal reference for school or office use
  • 8 1/2" x 11"
13.99 $13.99
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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 $5.69
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Houghton Mifflin® Webster's New Roget's Pocket Thesaurus, Grades 7th - 12th (AH9780618953202)
Item: 934759 / Model : AH9780618953202
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 12 - 18+ and grades 7th - 12th
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Thesaurus
20.99 $20.99
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Merriam Webster's Notebook Atlas
Item: 1238224 / Model : MW-6527
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 10 - 12 years and grades 4th - 6th
  • Language: English
  • Reference books type: Atlas
6.99 $6.99
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Merriam Webster's Spanish-English Dictionary
Item: 1235982 / Model : MW-8248
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 12 - 14 years and grades 7th - 12th
  • Reference books type: Dictionary
  • Format: Paperback
8.39 $8.39
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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 $3.89
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Merriam Webster's Official Scrabble Player Dictionary
Item: 1235980 / Model : MW-8224
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 13 - 14 years and grades 7th - 12th
  • Language: English
  • Reference books type: Dictionary
10.29 $10.29
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Merriam Webster's Pocket Thesaurus Hardcover, 4 EA/BD
Item: 895586 / Model : MW-524X
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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 $26.39
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Merriam Webster's Notebook Spanish-English Dictionary
Item: 1235978 / Model : MW-6725
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 10 - 12 years and grades 5th - 8th
  • Language: Spanish-English
  • Reference books type: Dictionary
6.99 $6.99
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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
23.39 $23.39
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The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus (9780547964065)
Item: 1271831 / Model : 9780547964065
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  • Author: Editors of the American Heritage Dictionaries (COR)
  • Hardcover (907 pages)
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, July 2013
18.69 $18.69
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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 $20.49
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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt American Heritage® Spanish Dictionary, 2nd Ed, Office Ed, Paperback, 640 Pages, 4 1/5"W x 6 7/8"L
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
10.99 $10.99
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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 $15.49
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Merriam-Webster's First Dictionary
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 $18.69
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Merriam-Webster® Intermediate Dictionary
Item: 849029 / Model : MW-6978
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  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
  • Format: paperback
19.99 $19.99
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Merriam Webster's Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms
Item: 871804 / Model : MW-9061
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  • Age group and grade: Ages 9+ and grades 8th & up
  • Language: English
  • Dictionaries & reference books type: Dictionary
8.29 $8.29
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My Phonics Dictionary, Each
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
5.79 $5.79
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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
29.79 $29.79
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Webster's New Roget's Thesaurus Office Edition, 2 EA/BD
Item: 842141 / Model : AH9780618955923
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  • Combines the most useful features of a thesaurus and a dictionary
  • An easy-to-use alphabetical arrangement
  • The only work providing definitions and usage guidance for accurate synonym choice
15.79 $15.79
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Merriam-Webster's Pocket Spanish-English Dictionary
Item: 801355 / Model : 9780877795193
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  • Author: Merriam-Webster
  • Publisher: Merriam Webster
  • Paperback: 423 pages
5.99 $5.99
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Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, 11th Edition, Hard Cover (9780877798095)
Item: 653522 / Model : 9780877798095
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  • More than 225,000 definitions and over 42,000 usage examples
  • Newly added words and meanings across a variety of fields including technology, entertainment, health, science, and society
  • Special section includes a Handbook of Style, Foreign Words and Phrases, and Biographical Names and Geographical Names
24.59 $24.59
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The New World Spanish/English English/Spanish Dictionary
Item: 492378 / Model : 9780451181688
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  • Author: Salvatore Raimondo
  • Publisher: Signet
  • Paperback: 1376 pages
8.39 $8.39
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