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THE CENTURY DICTIONARY

PREPARED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE OF
WILLIAM DWIGHT WHITNEY, Ph. D., LL. D.

PROFESSOR OF COMPARATIVE PHILOLOGY AND SANSKRIT IN YALE UNIVERSITY
THE plan of "The Century Dictionary” in- miliar examples are words ending in or or our ical arts and trades, and of the philological

, , general dictionary of the English language in ize or ise (as civilize, civilise); those having a adopted. In the definition of theological and which shall be serviceable for every literary single or double consonant after an unaccented ecclesiastical terms, the aim of the Dictionary and practical use; a more complete collection vowel (as traveler, traveller), or spelled with e or has been to present all the special doctrines of of the technical terms of the various sciences, with æ or æ (as hemorrhage, hæmorrhage); and the different divisions of the Church in such a arts, trades, and professions than has yet been so on. In such cases both forms are given, manner as to convey to the reader the actual attempted; and the addition to the definitions with an expressed preference for the briefer intent of those who accept them. In defining proper of such related encyclopedic matter, one or the one more accordant with native legal terms the design has been to offer all the with pictorial illustrations, as shall constitute analogies.

information that is needed by the general a convenient book of general reference.

THE PRONUNCIATION.

reader, and also to aid the professional reader About 200,000 words will be defined. The Dictionary will be a practically complete rec

No attempt has been made to record all the technical words and meanings. Special atten.

by giving in a concise form all the important ord of all the noteworthy words which have varieties of popular or even educated utter- tion has also been paid to the definitions of been in use since English literature has ex- ance, or to report the

determinations made by the principal terms of painting, etching, enisted, especially of all that wealth of new words different recognized authorities. It has been and of applications of old words which has necessary rather to make a selection of words graving, and various other art-processes; of

architecture, sculpture, archæology, decorative sprung from the development of the thought to which alternative pronunciations should be and life of the nineteenth century. It will re- accorded, and to give preference

among these art, ceramics, etc.; of musical terms, nautical

and military terms, etc. cord not merely the written language, but the according to the circumstances of each particuspoken language as well (that is, all important lar case, in view of the general analogies and ENCYCLOPEDIC FEATURES. provincial and colloquial words), and it will in- tendencies of English utterance. The scheme

The inclusion of so extensive and varied a clude (in the one alphabetical order of the Dic by which the pronunciationis indicated is quite vocabulary, the introduction of special phrases, tionary) abbreviations and such foreign words simple, avoiding over-refinement in the disand phrases as have become a familiar part of crimination of sounds, and being designed to and the full description of things often found English speech.

be readily understood and used. (See Key to essential to an intelligible definition of their Pronunciation on back cover.)

names, would alone have given to this DictionTHE ETYMOLOGIES.

ary a distinctly encyclopedic character. It has,

DEFINITIONS OF COMMON WORDS. however, been deemed desirable to go someThe etymologies have been written anew on a uniform plan, and in accordance with the es- mon words, there has been at hand, besides ditions render strictly necessary.

In the preparation of the definitions of com- what further in this direction than these contablished principles of comparative philology. the material generally accessible to students

Accordingly, not only have many technical It has been possible in many cases, by means of the language, a special collection

of quota- matters been treated with unusual fullness, of the fresh material at the disposal of the tions selected for this work from English

books but much practical information of a kind which etymologist, to clear up doubts or difficulties of all kinds and of all periods of the language, dictionaries have hitherto, excluded has been hitherto resting upon the history of particular which is probably much larger than any which added. The result is that “The Century words, to decide definitely in favor of one of has hitherto been made for the use of an English Dictionary.” covers to a great

extent the field several suggested etymologies, to discard nu- dictionary, except that accumulated for the of the ordinary encyclopedia, with this

princimerous current errors, and to give for the first Philological Society of London. Thousands of pal difference — that the information given is time the history of many words of which the non-technical words, many of them occurring for the most part distributed under the indietymologies were previously unknown or erro- in the classics of the language, and thousands vidual words and phrases with which it is conneously stated. Beginning with the current of meanings, many of them familiar, which nected, instead of being collected under a few accepted form of spelling, each important word have not hitherto been noticed by the diction- general topics. Proper names, both biographhas been traced back through earlier forms to aries, have in this way been obtained. The ical and geographical, are of course omitted, exits remotest known origin. The various prefixes arrangement of the definitions historically, in cept as they appear in derivative adjectives, as and suffixes useful in the formation of English the order in which the senses defined have en- Darwinian from Darwin, or Indian from India. words are treated very fully in separate articles. tered the language, has been adopted wher. The alphabetical distribution of the encycloever possible.

pedic matter under a large number of words HOMONYMS.

THE QUOTATIONS.

will, it is believed, be found to be particularly Words of various origin and meaning but

helpful in the search for those details which

These form a very large collection (about are generally looked for in works of reference. of the same spelling, have been distinguished by small superior figures (1, 2, 3, etc.). In 200,000), representing all periods and numbering these homonyms the rule has been branches of English literature. The classics

ILLUSTRATIONS. to give precedence to the oldest or the most valuable citations have been made from less lected and executed as to be subordinate to the of the language have been drawn upon, and

The pictorial illustrations have been so sefamiliar, or to that one which is most nearly famous authors in all departments of litera- text, while possessing a considerable degree of English in origin. The superior numbers apply not so much to the individual word as to ture... American Writers especially are repre: independent suggestiveness and artistic value. the group or root to which it belouge, hence work. A list of authors and works (and edi- have, as a rule, been selected by the specialists

sented in greater fullness than in any similar To secure technical accuracy, the illustrations the different grammatical uses of the same homonym are "numbered alike when they are tions) cited will be published with the con- in charge of the various departments, and have

cluding part of Dictionary. separately entered in the Dictionary. Thus a

in all cases been examined by them in proofs. verb and a noun of the same origin and the DEFINITIONS OF TECHNICAL TERMS. The cuts number about six thousand. same present spelling receive the same superior

Much space has been devoted to the special number. But when two words of the same form terms of the various sciences, fine arts, me

MODE OF ISSUE, PRICE, ETC. and of the same radical origin now differ con- chanical arts, professions, and trades, and “The Century Dictionary” will be comprised siderably in meaning, so as to be used as dif- much care has been bestowed upon their treat- in about 6,500 quarto pages. It is published ferent words, they are separately numbered.

ment. They have been collected by an extended by subscription and in twenty-four parts or

search through all branches of literature, with sections, to be finally bound into six quarto volTHE ORTHOGRAPHY.

the design of providing a very complete and umes, if desired by the subscriber. These secOf the great body of words constituting the many-sided technical dictionary. Many tbou- tions will be issued about once a month. The familiar language the spelling is determined sands of words have thus been gathered which price of the sections is $2.50 each, and no by well-established usage, and, however ac- have never before been recorded in a general subscriptions are taken except for the entire cidental and unacceptable, in many cases, it dictionary, or even in special glossaries. To work. may be, it is not the office of a dictionary like the biological sciences a degree of promi. The plan for the Dictionary is more fully dethis to propose improvements, or to adopt those nence has been given corresponding to the re- scribed in the preface (of which the above is in which have been proposed and have not yet markable recent increase in their vocabulary. part a condensation), which accompanies the won some degree of acceptance and use. But The new material in the departments of biology first section, and to which reference is made. there are also considerable classes as to which and zoology includes not less than five thou- A list of the abbreviations used in the ety. usage is wavering, more than one form being sand words and senses not recorded even in mologies and definitions, and keys to pronun. sanctioned by excellent authorities, either in special dictionaries. In the treatment of phy- ciations and to signs used in the etymologies, this country or Great Britain, or in both. Fa- sical and mathematical sciences, of the mechan- will be found on the back cover-lining.

THE CENTURY CO., 33 EAST 17TH ST., NEW YORK.

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