A good command of English is the key to success in the modern world. Success at school, at work, in business and in social life depends on being able to use words correctly, confidently and persuasively. The purpose of this book from Reader's Digest is to help anyone who has ever felt the need to communicate more effectively do just that. Driven by its status as the world language, English is constantly changing and adapting itself with borrowings from other languages, science, computerspeak and pop culture. This has led to confusion, even among mother-tongue speakers, in how to use words correctly, particularly because the spelling is so often at odds with pronunciation. Another difficulty is the widespread use of idioms, which, while enriching the language, leaves many of us unable to use it to its full potential. Most challenging of all, however, is the confusing number of words that look and spell the same, but have often widely different meanings. For example, how many meanings are there of the word 'close'? Answer: at least ten - including obvious ones such as 'near', 'shut' and 'airless', but also less obvious meanings such as 'a short street' or 'the land around a cathedral'. That's the point behind this new dictionary. You won't necessarily find the meanings of obvious words such as 'elephant' or 'apple', but you will be able to sort out the tangle of confusion that makes English such a challenge for all of us. This is achieved in two main ways: an easy-to-use layout that helps you find words more quickly and easily; and short, crisp definitions and sample sentences that make it easy to compare different word usages, idioms, meanings and pronunciation. As English becomes more entrenched as the world language of the 'information age', here is a book designed specifically to ensure that you use the right word, the right way, every time.