What differences are between these two books:

  • The American Heritage Dictionary
  • The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

? Are they both for etymology, similarly to Oxford English Dictionary, or just regular dictionaries, similarly to Oxford Dictionary of English?

I found them on Amazon.

  • Links? Wikipedia mentions that the first edition was the "American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language" while the 2nd edition was "The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition" but I'm not sure if these are the dictionaries you are looking for.
    – Laurel Mod
    Jul 27, 2023 at 14:06
  • My internet access has been restricted, notably Wikipedia
    – Tim
    Jul 27, 2023 at 14:11
  • What version? Are you asking about fifth edition?
    – Laurel Mod
    Jul 27, 2023 at 14:16
  • I don't have a version to look for. Are they different versions of the same book? Are they etymology or regular dictionaries?
    – Tim
    Jul 27, 2023 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


Going by Amazon's descriptions:

It looks to me like the content of both might be the same other than the fact that a lot was cut between the two. Both contain illustrations/photographs, etymologies, synonyms, and antonyms. They are "regular" dictionaries just like NOAD/ODE (which you mention in the question).

  • Are they different versions of the same book?
    – Tim
    Jul 27, 2023 at 15:03
  • I think so. It's pretty common for a full dictionary to be published, then later carved up and made into smaller dictionaries. Often these smaller versions are labeled "Concise" in the title but not always. (I guess they decided not to because they didn't exactly make a "pocket edition" — another common title phrase.)
    – Laurel Mod
    Jul 27, 2023 at 15:14

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