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Websters New World College Dictionary
ISBN 0764556029 / 9780764556029 / 0-7645-5602-9Find This Book
While the text edition of this dictionary has collected kudos from numerous newspapers throughout its previous editions, many users may find that the CD-Rom replaces the book as a handy quick-reference instrument. The disk loads in a matter of minutes, and offers a linked thesaurus with the dictionary--you can choose one or both reference tools, and you can customize both with your particular notes. Kids who are told to "look it up" when they ask mom how to spell a word will love the Misspeller's Dictionary included on the disk, which can easily translate spellings like "wierd" and "anoy". Using the thesaurus while using the dictionary allows you to click easily between words, using the former to extend your vocabulary while checking the specific definitions in the latter to ensure precise usage.
The text edition has many special features that make it a useful complement to the disk, as well as a star in its own right. Several pages of simple colored maps show the placement of everything from Colorado to Cameroon. There are anatomical illustrations, historical photographs, and a 40-page reference supplement that covers everything from the rules of punctuation to the periodic table of elements. Word definitions are clear, and with 163,000 entries, chances are you'll find the word you're hunting for. Synonyms for many words are included in shaded areas near the original word (you'll find pious, religious, and sanctimonious alongside devout), which is a big help when you're searching for the perfect word. --Jill Lightner