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It's as if you give a low rating to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary
because it doesn't cover the same number of words as M-W Third International Dictionary. They are made for different purposes. One is big, all inclusive and bulky (3rd international), the other is meant for everyday use (collegiate). Both are very good.
The same with the Chambers Dictionaries. If you want a successor to old edition of Chambers, go for the Chambers Dictionary 9th edition published in September 2003 (ISBN 0550101055). It's arguably the most comprehensive single-volume English dictionary. It has probably the wittiest definitions for some entries. It's THE successor to old editions (including the Chambers 20th century dictionary).
If you want a less bulky, more managable volume, with nice layout, readable type, easy consistent IPA pronunciations (International Phonetic Alphabet), yet still quite comprehensive for most everyday needs, this dictionary (21st century Chambers) is an excellent choice. It was not intended as a successor for old editions. It's a new dictionary, for the new century, and different type of needs.
Also check out the online version of this dictionary at http://www.chambersharrap.co.uk/chambers/chref/chref.py/mainChambers 21st. Century Dictionary, Thumb Index OverviewThis highly acclaimed dictionary is newly revised and offers language mavens a unique opportunity to delve into the most up-to-date, contemporary English usage. Comprehensive, easy-to-use, and free of jargon, the 21st Century Dictionary emphasizes the written and spoken English of everyday situations. The perfect reference for any word lover.Special features:Thumb Index. Clear definitions in straightforward English. Up-to-the-minute information on how words are used. Supported by Chambers Wordtrack and The British National Corpus 100 Million word database. Innovative page design gets you to the right information fast. Hundreds of usage notes, word histories, idioms, and help with pronunciation, spelling and grammar.
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