Gage Canadian Dictionary. Rev. ed.


1718 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations
ISBN 0-7715-7399-5
DDC 423




Reviewed by Sarah Robertson

Sarah Robertson is an associate editor of the Canadian Book Review


This revised and expanded Gage Canadian Dictionary has 30 percent more
content than the 1983 edition. Assembled by a different team of
lexicographers, the book contains more than 140,000 definitions, 13,000
of which are new. Also new to this edition are 200 supporting
photographs, the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) for
all pronunciations, and the placement of charts and tables in an
appendix. “Canadian English,” an essay by Walter S. Avis that first
appeared in 1967, has been dropped. Still in place, but revised to
reflect IPA usage, are the Guide to the Dictionary and endpaper
materials consisting of a pronunciation key, sample entries, and a list
of abbreviations used in the dictionary.

As noted in the Introduction, the revised Gage is “designed not only
to keep readers informed about developments in science and technology,
but also to emphasize the multicultural society of Canada.”
(Curiously, the genetic term “restriction fragment length
polymorphism” has been added but not the more obvious “mindset”
and “zero-sum.”) Many entries have been either rewritten or revised.
(The definition of “psychopath” has been changed from “one who is
suffering from mental illness” to “one who has a particular mental
illness usually characterized by amoral and antisocial behaviour.”) In
contrast to practice in the previous edition, -our spellings now precede
-or spellings. Emphasis continues to be placed on idioms and
illustrative phrases and sentences—features that, together with the
switch to IPA, are of particular value to ESL learners.

Distinctively Canadian and a model of clarity, this latest incarnation
of the Gage Canadian Dictionary is an indispensable resource for
high-school, university, and general users.


Dodds de Wolf, Gaelan, et al., “Gage Canadian Dictionary. Rev. ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024,