British vs American dictionaries.

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Senior Member
Hello everyone. When I read English books, I tend to find out whether the author is British or American and to chose the dictionary for use accordingly.(For example,The Oxford Dictionary of English for British books and Merriam-Webster for American books etc.)
I wonder is that necessary? Is the difference between British and American English great enough for me to use distinct dictionaries for them? And is it fine to refer to a British English dictionary when I read a book written in American English?
Hope for advice.Thanks in advance!
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    The vast majority of English words have the same range of meanings in AE and BE and anything other than a pocket dictionary will indicate meanings which are particular to one variety. If you look up a word in our Wordreference dictionary you will find entries from two different dictionaries, one AE and one BE, but you will see that entries are very similar - what might change is the order of the meanings or occasionally an extra meaning in one or the other, but you’d be pretty unlucky to come across a meaning which is used in a book and isn’t in whatever dictionary you use.
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