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be danger that the habit will be formed of not getting the meaning of any thoroughly.

Between these two great classes there is another, to which the attention of the learner in studying definitions should first be directed; and when he is well acquainted with it, the attainment of the higher class will not be found difficult. It is principally words of this middle range which the authors have here introduced. Those of a higher class belong to a succeeding volume.

Another peculiarity of this work consists in its definitions and illustrations. In the definitions the authors have aimed at simplicity and clearness, avoiding what they conceive to be a great defect, the defining of one word by another, often still more difficult, and then the defining of this latter one by the very word which it had been used to define. For example, as when the scholar is told that to abandon means to forsake, to desert; and that to forsake is to abandon, to desert; and that to desert is to abandon, to forsake. By going through this circle, unless the scholar happens to know already the meaning of some one or more of these words, what additional knowledge can he obtain,—while he is continually led to think that certain words are synonymous, which often vary widely in their significations when applied to different subjects. This evil is one of no small magnitude, and ought to be guarded against most carefully by those concerned in the education of youth.

And even when the definitions have been made as simple as possible, the proper meaning and use of most words can be taught effectually only by illustrative examples. This is the very way, indeed, in which children, in the common intercourse of life, learn their mother tongue; and it seems essential, therefore, that this should be one of the striking features of a dic

tionary for schools and families. In this respect, it is believed, the following work has peculiar claims upon the attention of teachers and parents. The illustrations have been prepared with great labor, and in making them it has been the design of the authors, while showing the proper meaning and use of words, to communicate valuable knowledge, to cultivate a correct taste, and to impress moral truth. Historical facts and dates, references to the Sacred Scriptures, with prudential maxims and precepts adapted to the young, pervade the whole. It is recommended to require of the learner to give additional illustrations; as this will serve both to fix more deeply in his mind the true power of the word, and to make him more ready in the correct use of language.

It will be seen, too, that a work thus constructed, while it best answers the design of such a dictionary, may be used advantageously for occasional exercises in reading. It will be, also, a valuable help to the pupil, by furnishing models in that kind of composition, becoming prevalent in many schools, which consists in forming sentences to contain particular words given out by the teacher.

For the sake of conciseness and method, words of the same family, though of different parts of speech, are brought together under that definition of one of them to which they properly belong, and are printed in italics. For instance, under the word "apprehend" will be found the words apprehension and apprehensive.

Of some words, those significations which are rarely met with, are omitted.

In the latter part of the work, as an exercise for the pupil, words are occasionally defined by other words which had themselves already been fully defined.

Compound words whose meaning can very easily be learned from the simple word together with the prefix or suffix, have been omitted, the import of such prefixes and suffixes being carefully given.

Thus, the authors have aimed to furnish, in a small compass, a kind of First Book in the acquisition of the meaning of the English language, to be used in schools and families; which, with fidelity on the part of teacher and pupil, will, they trust, not only aid in accomplishing this great object, but in forming, also, accuracy of thought, propriety of diction, correctness of taste, and soundness of moral principle.


The long vowels are marked thus; hāte, here, mine, globe, cube, rhyme. The short vowels are marked thus; hăt, pen, pin, nõt, nŭt, hỹmn.

The figure 1 over a, denotes the sound of a, as in bår.

The figure 2 denotes the sound of u, as in bush..

The figure 3 denotes the sound of a, as in båll.

The figure 4 denotes the sound of a, as in wåd.
The figure 5 denotes the sound of u, as in bird.
The figure 6 denotes the sound of o, as in move.

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A dot under the t, in th, denotes that th sounds as in the, thine.
Th without this dot, is sounded as in thin, thistle.

The accented syllable is denoted by the figure, or the mark of a long or short vowel, placed over it; as bår gain, căp tive, de plōre;-except in a few cases, where the accent (') is used for this purpose, as com pound'.

Where no illustration is added to a definition, it is separated from the succeeding definition by a period and a dash.

Unless otherwise designated, ai sounds as in pain; ây, as in play; éa, as in heat; ēē, as in tree; ēi, as in de ceit; õa, as in board; oi, as in point; oy, as in boy; ou, as in pound; ow, as in cow.

Silent letters are printed in italics; as in chasm, dearth, course.

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