Skip to main content

The Bibliophile's Dictionary

2,000 Masterful Words and Phrases

Buy book | Amazon  |

Image placeholder title

The Bibliophile's Dictionary
2,000 Masterful Words and Phrases
by Miles Westley
Writer's Digest Books, 2005
ISBN 1-58297-356-3
$16.99 hardcover, 304 pages

About the Book

How would you feel if someone called you temerarious? What about …


Now you can easily find out what each of these words mean, and see examples of how they’ve been used by famous and infamous authors.

The Bibliophile’s Dictionary is an exceptional collection of unusual words and phrases, usefully organized into specific categories such as personality traits, religion, myths, and mysticism, and household objects. Each word has a definition, a phonetic pronunciation, and an example of how the word is used in literature.

Enhance your own vocabulary by learning from the great minds of writers.

More About the Book

“If the average American knows some 10,000 words, Westley’s 2,054 should be among them. If you do not soon tire of commonplace words and familiar phrases, we will soon tire of you.”

—Robert Hartwell Fiske, editor and publisher of The Vocabula Review, author of The Dictionary of Disagreeable English

“Coaxing that elusive but perfect word on the tip of your tongue to the tip of your pen has never been easier than with this generously stocked storehouse of vivid, vital language that will add dash and exactitude to any sentence. Neither a museum of musty obscurities nor a ten-dollar-word crib list for show-offs, The Bibliophile’s Dictionary is a treasury of delightfully useful words and phrases for everyday writing and conversation. With thorough, precise definitions and illustrative sentences drawn from virtuoso writers past and present, the book is a boon for browsers—but it’s so entertaining, you'll probably end up reading it straight through.”

—Gary Lutz, author of Stories in the Worst Way, I Looked Alive, and The Writer’s Digest Grammar Desk Reference

“Like Flaubert’s Dictionary of Received Ideas, Peter Miles Westley's The Bibliophile’s Dictionary succeeds as a revving machine that manufactures high-performance prose. Adroitly arranged, detailed with the finest definitions, customized with exquisite taste and a precision-tuned ear, this dictionary purrs along, hits on all cylinders. Language is our vehicle, and this is the after-market kit to soup it up. All muscle. High test. What a ride.”

—Michael Martone, author of Michael Martone, The Blue Guide to Indiana, and Rules of Thumb.

writersMarket_wd-ad_1000x300 (1)

Get Published With the Latest Market Books Editions

Get published and find more success with your writing by using the latest editions of the Market Books, including Writer's Market, Poet's Market, Guide to Literary Agents, and more!

Michigan Quarterly Review: Market Spotlight

Michigan Quarterly Review: Market Spotlight

For this week's market spotlight, we look at Michigan Quarterly Review, the flagship literary journal of the University of Michigan.

Desperate vs. Disparate (Grammar Rules)

Desperate vs. Disparate (Grammar Rules)

This post looks at the differences between desperate and disparate with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

What Is Pastiche in Literature, and Why Is Sherlock Holmes Perfect for It?

What Is Pastiche in Literature, and Why Is Sherlock Holmes Perfect for It?

What has made Sherlock Holmes so adaptable and changeable throughout the character’s original inception? Author Timothy Miller explains.

How to Write Through Grief and Find Creativity

How to Write Through Grief and Find Creativity

When author Diana Giovinazzo found herself caught in the storm of grief, doing what she loved felt insurmountable. Here, she shares how she worked through her grief to find her creativity again.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Our Brand-New Digital Guide, 6 WDU Courses, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce our new “Get Published in 2022” digital guide, six new WDU courses, and more!

5 Tips for Keeping Your Writing Rolling

5 Tips for Keeping Your Writing Rolling

The occasional bump in the writing process is normal, but it can be difficult to work through. Here, author Genevieve Essig shares five ways to keep your writing rolling.

From Script

How to Write from a Place of Truth and Desire and Bending the Rules in Screenwriting (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with screenwriter Steven Knight (Spencer), Mike Mills (C'mon C'mon), and David Mitchell (Matrix Resurrection). Plus, how to utilize your vulnerability in your writing and different perspectives on screenwriting structure.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Forgetting To Read

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Forgetting To Read

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's mistake is forgetting to read.