The 7 Best Hardcover Dictionaries

Updated December 15, 2016 by Steven John

American Heritage
Webster's New World College
Scholastic Children's
We spent 24 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. One of the best ways to improve your command of the English language is by frequently referring to an authoritative source. These hardcover dictionaries contain thousands of words along with useful background materials, and are available in editions suitable for everyone from youngsters to students to adults. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hardcover dictionary on Amazon.

7. Merriam-Webster Children's

This edition of Merriam-Webster Children's contains no fewer than 3,000 photographs and illustrations that can help a youngster quickly identify and better understand the object behind the term he or she is researching. It also features some 35,000 words and phrases.
  • word history paragraphs
  • ideal for grades 2 through 5
  • too basic for many youngsters
Publisher Merriam-Webster Childre
Model n/a
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary

For theologians, those in seminary school, or for the religious person who brings a scholarly bent to his or her practices, a copy of "Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words" is a great resource that aids in close reading of scripture.
  • reveals greek and hebrew etymology
  • includes rich commentary
  • many notable words omitted
Publisher HarperCollins Christian
Model n/a
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary

While many people will have little use for a copy of Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, those in the medical field (or with a keen interest in health and medicine) will find it an invaluable resource. Impressively, this volume has seen well over twenty editions.
  • more than 2800 pages of text
  • great aid for medical students
  • thin pages tear easily
Publisher Taber's Cyclopedic Medi
Model n/a
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Scholastic Children's

Don't let the playful cover design of the Scholastic Children's deceive you: this is a genuinely useful guide for elementary age students who want to improve their grasp of the English language. It simply uses images to augment the information dissemination process.
  • includes ten page thesaurus
  • includes multiple world maps
  • offers pronunciation guide
Publisher Scholastic Inc.
Model n/a
Weight 4.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Webster's New World College

Webster's New World College has gone through multiple printings over the years and is as good a reference tool today as it was in years past. A team of editors with various linguistic skills collaborate to make sure each edition is an improvement on the last.
  • tailored for american users
  • good price for large volume
  • includes many new words
Publisher Webster's New World Col
Model n/a
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. DK Publishing

DK Publishing's "My First Dictionary" is an invaluable tool for the young reader committed to a lifetime of close and rewarding reading of texts of all types. Using simple, but accurate, language and colorful pictures, it helps unlock the mysteries of language.
  • excellent classroom resource
  • great low price tag
  • humorous images make learning fun
Model n/a
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. American Heritage

For an up-to-date and user-friendly tome featuring every word you need to know to navigate the proverbial waters of the day, the American Heritage "Dictionary of the English Language" is a wise choice. Expensive, but comprehensive, this book will remain relevant for years.
  • features thousands of color images
  • rich in etymological research
  • great reviews from readers
Publisher American Heritage
Model n/a
Weight 7.9 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

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Last updated on December 15, 2016 by Steven John

When not writing or spending time with his family, Steven tries to squeeze in some mountain climbing. In addition to writing for several websites and journals, Steven has published multiple novels.

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