Words & Their Meaning

By Howard Jackson
Oct 1988
Pearson Education / Longman
ISBN: 0582291542
288 pages
$59.50 paper original

In this book, the development of the English dictionary is examined, along with the kinds of dictionary available, the range of information they contain, factors affecting their usage, and public attitudes towards them. As well as an descriptive analysis of word meaning, the author considers whether a thematic, thesaurus-like presentation might be more suited than the traditional alphabetical format to the description of words and their meaning.


1. What is a word?
2. Where did English words come from?
3. Dictionaries: the repositories of words
4. Words and the world
5. Words and words
6. Analysing word meanings
7. Meaning from combinations
8. Why dictionaries?
9. How to define a word
10. More than meaning
11. Different dictionaries
12. Especially for the learner
13. Who uses a dictionary for what?
14. Not alphabetical
15. The craft of lexicography
16. Lexicology, lexicography and semantics


"....admirably clear and detailed...All in all, the book is a clear, simple introduction to a big and complex subject and should prove very useful."

EFL Gazette

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