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December 15, 1989

Churchill's Illustrated Medical Dictionary

Author Affiliations

Dayton, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

JAMA. 1989;262(23):3353. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430230142045

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Medical lexicography for speakers of English has a tradition going back centuries. The major medical dictionaries currently on the market have built solid reputations through many editions, and any newcomer to the field is bound to attract intense scrutiny. It is a pleasure to report that the new Churchill's Medical Dictionary, vast in physical dimensions (more than 100 000 entries on more than 2100 pages), displays lexicographic brilliance in proportion.

The range of terms defined in Churchill's provides ample coverage of the basic sciences and medical specialties as well as dentistry. Abbreviations and taxonomic terms are fully represented. Pharmaceutical terms also receive good coverage, but few proprietary drug names are included. The treatment of anatomic nomenclature is exhaustive and phenomenally precise. Variant spellings, particularly British spellings, are abundantly supplied.

Achieving a just proportion among the constituent parts of a work of this size is a task to strain the resources