UNLIMITED Audiobooks and eBooks

Over 40,000 books & works on all major devices

Get ALL YOU CAN for FREE for 30 days!

Preface to a Dictionary of the English Language

Samuel Johnson

How does All You Can Books work?

All You Can Books gives you UNLIMITED access to over 40,000 Audiobooks, eBooks, and Foreign Language courses. Download as many audiobooks, ebooks, language audio courses, and language e-workbooks as you want during the FREE trial and it's all yours to keep even if you cancel during the FREE trial. The service works on any major device including computers, smartphones, music players, e-readers, and tablets. You can try the service for FREE for 30 days then it's just $19.99 per month after that. So for the price everyone else charges for just 1 book, we offer you UNLIMITED audio books, e-books and language courses to download and enjoy as you please. No restrictions.

Book Excerpt: 
. . .they are sometimes omitted, defect in such minute observations will be more easily excused, than superfluity.

In the investigation both of the orthography and signification of words, their ETYMOLOGY was necessarily to be considered, and they were therefore to be divided into primitives and derivatives. A primitive word, is that which can be traced no further to any English root; thus circumspect, circumvent, circumstance, delude, concave and complicate, though compounds in the Latin, are to us primitives. Derivatives are all those that can be referred to any word in English of greater simplicity.

The derivatives I have referred to their primitives, with an accuracy sometimes needless; for who does not see that remoteness comes from remote, lovely from love, concavity from concave, and demonstrative from demonstrate? but this grammatical exuberance the scheme of my work did not allow me to repress. It is of great importance in . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Just utterly fantastic, and bizarrely full of wisdom.

For years, when my wife asked me what I wanted for my birthday or Christmas, I would jokingly say, "The first or fourth edition of Johnson's Dictionary." She never came through, and I don't know why - those editions only cost around $10,000 U.S. Over the years I've toyed with buying a facsimile e...more

Interesting concepts of the meaning of words; still one sided.

Murray, in his Oxford lecture on the history of English lexivography, began with Samuel Johnson's famous Dictionary. He then went on to show how Johnson's work was built upon the efforts of many others. Still, most of Murray's time was devoted to the great work of Johnson because it was that book...more

Interesting. I am fascinated with language and its development and it is so easy to take dictionaries for granted in this world of instant information overload. Not so at all times as Johnson makes clear.