Skip to main content

The Bibliophile's Dictionary

2,000 Masterful Words and Phrases


Buy book | Amazon  | BN.com

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 …

Puerile?
Gormless?
Pusillanimous?
Irenic?
Sesquipedalian?
Munificent?
Insouciant?
Lachrymose?
Obdurate?
Sedulous?
Captious?
Irascible?
Obstreperous?
Truculent?
Ineluctable?

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.

10 Tips on Covering Events as a Freelance Journalist

10 Tips on Covering Events as a Freelance Journalist

From planning ahead to staying late, Alison Hill shares 10 tips for journalists while covering events as a freelancer.

From Script

Character Studies, Writing the Immigrant Experience, and Six Adaptation Steps Before You Adapt a Book (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, navigate different character study approaches in your writing, and tracking emotional journeys.

Lora Senf: On Trusting Children With Middle Grade Fiction

Lora Senf: On Trusting Children With Middle Grade Fiction

Author Lora Senf discusses how one chilling text message led her to writing her new middle grade horror novel, The Clackity.

Katrina Leno: On Writing Around an Idea

Katrina Leno: On Writing Around an Idea

Critically acclaimed novelist Katrina Leno discusses the process of bringing her childhood memories to magical life in her new young adult novel, Sometime in Summer.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: A New Podcast Episode, "Your Story" Prompt, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our latest episode of "Writer's Digest Presents," the new "Your Story" prompt, and more!

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2022

Writer's Digest Best Live Streams, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels 2022

Here are the top live streams, podcasts, and YouTube channels as identified in the 24th Annual 101 Best Websites from the May/June 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

What Is Fan Fiction in Writing?

What Is Fan Fiction in Writing?

You might have heard the term, especially if you’re in online fandoms, but what exactly is fan fiction? Managing Editor Moriah Richard explains.

5 Ways To Use Short Stories To Grow as a Writer

5 Ways To Use Short Stories To Grow as a Writer

Short story writing can be a gateway to writing your novel—but they’re also fun and worthy stories in their own right. Here, author Dallas Woodburn shares 5 ways to use short stories to grow as a writer.

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Having an Online Presence

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Not Having an Online Presence

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is not having an online presence.