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Dictionaries - Legal and English Language

A guide to dictionaries of all kinds and their availability at SOLL and nearby libraries.

A Note on Webster Revisions and Editions

The following bibliography covers all the historical editions of a dictionary popularly known as the "Webster's Dictionary." It includes the 1828 and 1841 editions of Noah Webster's original dictionary and continues with the publications of the Merriam-Webster unabridged editions of the dictionary.


Since being acquired by the Merriam-Webster company in 1843, Webster’s dictionary has been released in four main editions. A new edition involves the evaluation of every definition in the volume. Out-of-date usages are deleted or changed and new words and usages are added. Each edition may be considered an entirely new work.


A revision of a Webster’s edition is much more modest. After 1890, no substantive changes are made between revisions to the text of the dictionary itself. Words and usages are added, modified or removed from the addendum section only. Only non-substantial corrections are made to the text of the dictionary itself. Excepting the addendum sections, revisions of an edition may be considered the same work.

Webster's Print Edition and the Online Dictionary.

The 2002 revision of Webster's Third International Dictionary is latest revision of the dictionary in print. However the online version of the unabridged edition continues to add new words and definitions.


Webster’s Dictionaries

American Dictionary of the English Language

1828 – First Edition (1970 Reprint)

1841 – Second Edition


Merriam-Webster’s  Dictionaries

An American Dictionary and other Early Editions

1859 – Reprint of Webster's 1841 edition with expanded addenda

1864 – Major revisions to original text with significant new additions

Webster’s International Dictionary of the English Language

1890 – First Printing

1900 – Revision


Webster’s New International Dictionary (1909)

1909 – First Printing

1913 – Revision

1923 – Revision

1924 – Revision

1926 – Revision

1927 – Revision

1930 – Revision


Webster’s New International Dictionary (2nd ed 1934)

1934 – Revision

1945 – Revision

1950 – Revision

1954 – Revision

1959 – Revision


Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (1961)        

1961 – Revision

1966  – Revision

1971  – Revision

1976  – Revision

1981 – Revision

1986 – Revision

1993 – Revision

2002 - Revision

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