Middle English Dictionary

Plan and Bibliography, 2nd Edition
Robert E. Lewis, Editor
Plan by Robert E. Lewis. Bibliography by Mary Jane Williams and Robert E. Lewis, with the assistance of Marilyn S. Miller
The final installment of the most important modern reference work for Middle English studies


The Middle English Dictionary is a monumental scholarly endeavor that began in the 1930s and was completed in 2001. The goal of the Middle English Dictionary is to include all meanings, grammatical forms, and spellings of all the words identified by the editors' extensive reading program. Its completion represents the greatest achievement in medieval scholarship in America and the most important single project in current English historical lexicography. After seventy years Middle English Dictionary has produced about 15,000 pages, offering a comprehensive analysis of lexicon and usage, based on the analysis of a collection of over three million citation slips, the largest collection of this kind available.

This new edition of the Plan is a complete reshaping and rewriting of Kurath's original, with an up-to-date history of the project and a comprehensive guide to the entries and their constituent parts. The Bibliography contains a revised list of the texts used in the print dictionary, combining the original Bibliography (1954), the supplemental Bibliography (1984), and the additions made between 1984 and 2001, when the last fascicle was published, and amounts to over 7100 full entries, nearly half again as many as in the original and the supplemental bibliographies combined, with notes on the changes in date, title, manuscript, or edition that took place in the print dictionary between 1952 and 2001.

Robert E. Lewis is Professor Emeritus of English Language and Literature and Executive Director Emeritus of the Middle English Dictionary at the University of Michigan. He is also general editor of the Chaucer Library series, a member of the editorial board for the second edition of the "Oxford English Dictionary" (1989), and a former member of the Board of Regents of Mercersburg Academy.

Product Details

  • 8.5 x 11.
  • 184pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 2007
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-01310-4

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  • $31.95 U.S.