Author: M Monier - Williams
E Leumann/C Cappeller
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Pandit Ishwar Chandra
Publisher: Indica Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8186569642
The history of Sanskrit dictionary is, perhaps, older than that of the Sanskrit Grammar. It got started with Vedic Concordance named ‘Nighantu’. In reality, instead of being a dictionary, Nighantu is more or less a word. During later period, various dictionaries were compiled but, unfortunately, we have lost their original scripts.
Amara Simha’s ‘Amarakosa’ has been considered to be the oldest and most popular compilation. It is also known as Namalinganusasana. in later period, Halayudha-kosa, Vaijayanti-kosa, Mankha-kosa, Nama-mala and Anekartha-samgraha etc. names are worth mentioning.
Two voluminous dictionaries compiled in the 19th century are-Sabdakalpadruma and Vacaspatyam, which stand apart their modern style and technique, Both the volumes are replete with the quotes from the contemporary literature to explain the words convincingly. These, thus may be called a bridge between the dictionary and the encyclopedia.
In present time, Sanskrit English Dictionary of H.H. Wilson, W. Monier and Sanskrit Worterbuch of Oto Bohtlingk’s and Sanskrit English Dictionary by Vamana Sivarama Apte and the excellent works in this tradition.
In the tradition of Dictionaries, Sanskrit English Dictionary compiled by Sir Monier Monier-Williams is an important and worth praising work. It’s technique of word collection is modern (as the words have been arranged in the alphabetical order, according to the first letter of the word). A major part of it, has been compiled by the chief editor himself after thorough study of the poetic and all other major works in Sanskrit.
As the words of the Sanskrit language have been arranged with their synonyms in English language, such a collection has proved to be a blessing for the readers of English speaking areas. The dictionary of Sir Monier Monier Williams is the most popular and scholarly work of Sanskrit world, equally accepted and appreciated by Indian and Western scholars.
In the present edition, we have replaced the earlier used diacritical notations with their modern equivalents, such as ri with r, ri with r, n with m. Monier Williams employed the symbol ‘^’ for indication of blending of two vowels, but we have used in the present edition, the symbol for the pronunciation of a long vowel as well as for the indication of the blending of two vowels such as a,i,u, and, ‘^’ for just the indication of blending of two vowels, such as o,e,ai,au,etc.
The reference text number of the works indicated, such as ‘I’ etc. in the earlier edition of Monier Williams has been indicated using the symbol ‘-‘ between the two text numbers, such as ‘0-1’ which means the prose matter before the verse number 1 of the text of the said reference work.
The ‘Additions and Corrections’ portion given at the end of the original edition, has been inserted at appropriate places in the dictionary itself in the present edition. Further, the corrections at the end, has been done in the words itself at the corresponding places.
The present edition is entirely recomposed, enlarged and presented in two volumes in deluxe hard-bound edition, in front of the readers. The idea for its enlargement, revision and re-editing clicked Pandita K.L. Joshi, Proprietor, Parimal Publications, New Delhi, at least five years ago. He discussed the proposal with me and the present work is a fulfillment of that dream taken together.
I must express my sincere gratitude to every person for any kind of cooperation or assistance in this mission. Further, I welcome any suggestions from the readers about the present edition.
MONIER WILLIAM”S PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION PUBLISHED IN THE YEAR 1899
The first edition of the Dictionary had the advantage of being published by the Delegates of the Oxford University Press, with the support of the Secretary of State for India in Council. The present greatly enlarged and improved work enjoys the same privileges. The first edition appeared in the summer of 1872. The extent of its indebtedness to the great seven-volumed Sanskrit-German Thesaurus compiled by the two eminent German Sanskritists, otto Bohtlingk and Rudolf Roth, with the assistance of many distinguished scholars, such as Professor A. Weber of Berlin-then only completed as far as the beginning of the letter b was fully acknowledged by me in the Preface.
Having regard, however, to the entire originality of the plan of my own work, I did not venture to describe it as based on the great Sanskrit-German Worterbuch. For that plan I claimed to be alone responsible. Every particle of its detail was thought out in my own mind and the whole work was brought to completion by me, with the co-operation of Five successive assistants-whose names were duly recorded in about twelve years from the date of my election to the Boden Professorship in the University of Oxford.