English Collocations and Idioms Dictionaries (2020)

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English is this century’s international lingua franca. The two most powerful variants of English spoken in the world today are British English and American English. If you are interested in learning any of these two types of English or you are already learning English in general, you will find the below listed collocations and idioms dictionaries useful.

A collocation refers to the combination of words often used by native speakers of English to express their thoughts. An idiom is a group of words used by them to describe certain things or situations in a non-literal way. Using collocations and idioms can make your speech sound more natural.

Oxford Collocations Dictionary for students of English

Oxford Collocations Dictionary for students of English

Author/Editor: Colin McIntosh, Ben Francis, Richard Poole
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition No.: 2nd Revised Edition
Publication Date: May 2009

Book Description:

The dictionary that helps students write and speak natural-sounding English, now in a new edition with CD-ROM. Which words usually go together? This dictionary shows you the common word combinations (collocations) that are essential for natural-sounding British and American English. Completely revised and extended, the new edition has over 250,000 collocations and over 75,000 examples.

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English Collocations in Use Advanced (2nd Edition)

English Collocations in Use Advanced (2nd Edition)

Author/Editor: Felicity O’Dell, Michael McCarthy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Edition No.: 2nd Revised Edition
Publication Date: August 2017

Book Description:

Improve your fluency and sound more natural in English. Collocations are combinations of words which frequently appear together. This book contains explanations and practice of English collocations for advanced-level (C1 to C2) learners of English. Perfect for both self-study and classroom activities. Learn collocations in context, with lots of different topics, including ‘Writing essays, assignments and reports’. Be confident about what you are learning, thanks to Cambridge research into how English is really spoken and written, and get better at studying by yourself, with study tips and follow-up activities. This book is also perfect for preparing for Cambridge exams and IELTS, which often test knowledge of collocations.

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English Collocations in Use Intermediate (2nd Edition)

English Collocations in Use Intermediate (2nd Edition)

Author/Editor: Michael McCarthy, Felicity O’Dell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Edition No.: 2nd Revised Edition
Publication Date: July 2017

Book Description:

Improve your fluency and sound more natural in English. Collocations are combinations of words which frequently appear together. This book contains explanations and practice of English collocations for intermediate-level (B1 to B2) learners of English. Perfect for both self-study and classroom activities. Learn collocations in context, with lots of different topics, including ‘Using the Internet’ and ‘Presentations’. Be confident about what you are learning, thanks to Cambridge research into how English is really spoken and written, and get better at studying by yourself, with study tips and follow-up activities. This book is also perfect for preparing for Cambridge exams and IELTS, which often test knowledge of collocations.

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Longman Collocations Dictionary and Thesaurus

Longman Collocations Dictionary and Thesaurus

Author/Editor: Pearson Education
Publisher: Pearson Education
Edition No.: 1st Edition
Publication Date: March 2013

Book Description:

700,000 Collocations help increase spoken and written fluency, ideal for Intermediate to Advanced level students. All collocations illustrated with corpus examples. Notes on formality and grammar ensure that you produce natural and accurate English every time. Warning notes to highlight wrong collocations that are frequently used by learners of English. Covers British and American English. Integrated thesaurus demonstrating how closely related synonyms are differentiated through collocation. Error notes for commonly misused collocations. NEW Academic Collocations List – the most frequent collocations used in academic English. Inclusion of the Academic Collocations List – the most frequent 2500 collocations from academic texts. Online access via a PIN number in the print dictionary: get the full contents of the print dictionary online plus additional collocations and thesaurus entries interactive exercises to practise collocations

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Oxford Idioms Dictionary for learners of English

Oxford Idioms Dictionary for learners of English

Author/Editor: Dilys Parkinson, Ben Francis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Edition No.: 2nd Revised Edition
Publication Date: May 2007

Book Description:

A new edition of the dictionary that explains more than 10,000 of the most frequently used idioms in English today. This new edition has hundreds of new idioms and examples taken from our corpus. It also has more notes on the origins of idioms, notes to help with difficult vocabulary, study pages, exercises and cartoons to aid learning and add interest.

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Cambridge Idioms Dictionary

Cambridge Idioms Dictionary

Author/Editor: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Edition No.: 2nd Revised Edition
Publication Date: July 2006

Book Description:

This new edition of the Cambridge Idioms Dictionary explains over 7,000 idioms current in British, American and Australian English, helping learners to understand them and use them with confidence. Fully updated with new idioms, e.g. think outside the box, play out of your skin, the new black. New, attractive page layout with idioms in colour for easy reference. Clear explanations and example sentences for every idiom. Most common idioms highlighted so students know which to learn. Topic section covering useful language areas, e.g. agreeing and disagreeing, telling stories.

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English Idioms in Use Advanced (2nd Edition)

English Idioms in Use Advanced (2nd Edition)

Author/Editor: Michael McCarthy, Felicity O’Dell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Edition No.: 2nd Revised Edition
Publication Date: August 2017

Book Description:

Improve your understanding of idioms in English. Explanations and practice of English idioms, written for advanced-level (C1 to C2) learners of English. Perfect for both self-study and classroom activities. Learn idioms in context, with lots of different topics, including ‘Learning’, ‘Formal writing’ and ‘Telling stories’. Be confident about what you are learning, thanks to Cambridge research into how English is really spoken and written, and get better at studying by yourself, with study tips, follow-up tasks and an easy to use answer key.

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English Idioms in Use Intermediate (2nd Edition)

English Idioms in Use Intermediate (2nd Edition)

Author/Editor: Michael McCarthy, Felicity O’Dell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Edition No.: 2nd Revised Edition
Publication Date: August 2017

Book Description:

Improve your understanding of idioms in English. Explanations and practice of English idioms, written for intermediate-level (B1 to B2) learners of English. Perfect for both self-study and classroom activities. Learn idioms in context, with lots of different topics, including ‘Clothes’, ‘Music and theatre’ and ‘Work’. Be confident about what you are learning, thanks to Cambridge research into how English is really spoken and written, and get better at studying by yourself, with study tips, follow-up tasks and an easy to use answer key.

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The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (2nd Edition)

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms (2nd Edition)

Author/Editor: Christine Ammer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Edition No.: 2nd Revised Edition
Publication Date: February 2013

Book Description:

Senior moment. Think outside the box. Idioms like these can’t be understood just from the words that make them up. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms explores the meanings of idioms, including phrasal verbs such as kick back, proverbs such as too many cooks spoil the broth, interjections such as tough beans, and figures of speech such as elephant in the room. Since the publication of the first edition 15 years ago, author Christine Ammer has made extensive revisions that reflect new historical scholarship and changes in the English language. This second edition defines over 10,000 idiomatic expressions in greater detail than any other dictionary available today. English language learners will find this dictionary especially useful.

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If you strongly prefer one variant of English to another, please spend some time reading the book details before making any purchase. The listed books above are not categorized into American or British. If you are still in the early stages of learning English, it is also advisable to stick to the type of English you are learning – whether it’s American or British – and only explore the other variants of English out there when you have reached intermediate level. For example: only buy books written in British English (or American English, for that matter). This will make your learning experience much easier. If you want to buy a phrasal verb dictionary, click here.