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New Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

Groundbreaking Eleventh Edition Sets New Standard

SPRINGFIELD, MASS., July 2003 — A major new chapter in the history of college-level desk dictionaries begins this month, with the arrival of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition. The fully revised Eleventh Edition of America's best-selling dictionary sets a new standard by merging print, CD-ROM, and Internet-based formats into one affordable package, providing a revolutionary combination of high-quality reference content and state-of-the-art technology.

The completely updated and redesigned print version includes more than 100,000 changes from the last edition—featuring thousands of new words and definitions, hundreds of new and original pictorial illustrations, more usage examples than ever before, and a fresh new page design with a more readable typeface.

Added to this is an easily installable CD-ROM component and a free one-year subscription to, a new premium Web site offering access to:

  • Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary,
  • Collegiate® Thesaurus,
  • Collegiate® Encyclopedia, and
  • Merriam-Webster's Spanish-English Dictionary.

The result is unprecedented language reference accessibility and flexibility.

"We live in a hybrid world, part print, part electronic," said John Morse, President and Publisher of Merriam-Webster, "and these parts are mutually reinforcing. We've learned from our customers that the same person who uses a laptop and the Web in the afternoon will use our print dictionary in the evening. The new Eleventh Edition of our Collegiate Dictionary, with its three interconnecting components, meets this range of needs."

The new Eleventh Edition is the latest in a long line of Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionaries inaugurated in 1898. Since then, the Collegiate Dictionary has sold more than 55 million copies and consistently set the standard for college-level desk dictionaries in this country. It is updated annually and completely revised and re-edited every 10 to 12 years. "We firmly believe," Morse said, "that this new edition will influence the future direction of dictionary use and dictionary buying for years to come."

To introduce the new edition, Merriam-Webster has planned an extensive launch campaign focusing on both the new content and its new multi-format concept to coincide with the back-to-school sales period. Along with national consumer advertising, in-store events, and exposure in more than 100 major markets via a nationwide press tour, TV satellite interviews, and a drive-time radio campaign, the company is planning to coordinate launch activities with several of its licensing partners, including Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., Franklin Electronic Publishers, and Fogware Publishing.

Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
Merriam-Webster Inc. acquired the rights to revise and publish Noah Webster's dictionaries in 1843. Since then, Merriam-Webster has maintained an ongoing commitment to innovation, scholarship, and love of language. Today, the company continues as the leader in both print and electronic language reference publishing, with reference products, learning tools, and word games. See more about the new Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition, at:

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