Although not always essential to Scrabblers, one of the main functions of a dictionary is to provide its user with a clear definition of the terms it contains. For example, if we look up MIDDLE-AGED in Chambers we find 'between youth and old age, variously reckoned to suit the reckoner'. Fair enough! The ultimate in concision was reached by Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, which defined in early printings the word RAFTMAN as 'a raftman'. No argument there.
Word Ways: Vol. 20
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol20/iss3/9