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[ih-dish-uh n] /ɪˈdɪʃ ən/
one of a series of printings of the same book, newspaper, etc., each issued at a different time and differing from another by alterations, additions, etc. (distinguished from impression).
the format in which a literary work is published:
a one-volume edition of Shakespeare.
the whole number of impressions or copies of a book, newspaper, etc., printed from one set of type at one time.
a version of anything, printed or not, presented to the public:
the newest edition of a popular musical revue.
1545-55; (< Middle French) < Latin ēditiōn- (stem of ēditiō) publication, equivalent to ēdit(us) (past participle of ēdere; see edit) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
preedition, noun
Can be confused
addition, edition. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for editions
  • The entire run has been collected in nine trade paperback editions.
  • One steady form of revenue has come from foreign editions of the magazine.
  • It is sometimes used for posters of the book, as well as book covers for some editions.
  • I have had it withdrawn from subsequent editions because it is clearly ambiguous.
  • Some of these letters were also reprinted in several editions of the story of my life.
  • There are many editions, large and small, elaborate or plain, expensive or inexpensive.
  • There are two primary sources for the translations based on the two german editions.
  • These editions are often noted as being based on the restored text.
  • Some cheaper editions, particularly paperback, are not illustrated except with the maps.
  • Note this selection based on editions currently available in english.
British Dictionary definitions for editions


  1. the entire number of copies of a book, newspaper, or other publication printed at one time from a single setting of type
  2. a single copy from this number: a first edition, the evening edition
one of a number of printings of a book or other publication, issued at separate times with alterations, amendments, etc Compare impression (sense 6)
  1. an issue of a work identified by its format: a leather-bound edition of Shakespeare
  2. an issue of a work identified by its editor or publisher: the Oxford edition of Shakespeare
a particular instance of a television or radio programme broadcast
(transitive) to produce multiple copies of (an original work of art)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ēditiō a bringing forth, publishing, from ēdere to give out; see editor
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for editions



early 15c., "version, translation, a form of a literary work;" 1550s, "act of publishing," from French édition or directly from Latin editionem (nominative editio) "a bringing forth, producing," also "a statement, account," from past participle stem of edere "bring forth, produce," from ex- "out" (see ex-) + -dere, comb. form of dare "to give" (see date (n.1)). "It is awkward to speak of, e.g. 'The second edition of Campbell's edition of Plato's "Theætetus"'; but existing usage affords no satisfactory substitute for this inconvenient mode of expression" [OED].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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