Sir M. Monier-Williams had first published his English-Sanskrit Dictionary in 1851. Subsequently, he embarked upon this Sanskrit-English Dictionary, with the primary object of exhibiting, by a lucid etymological arrangement, the structure of the Sanskrit Language, the very key-stone of the science of Comparative Philology. The first edition of this Dictionary was completed in 1872 in about twelve years. This is the new edition (1899), greatly enlarged and improved in the light of criticisms for and against the first edition, numerous printed Sanskrit texts and works and especially the three Indian journeys the author had undertaken.
Though all lexicographers have to rely on the work of their earlier compeers, Sir Williams' work is unique and original in its plan and execution, the utility of which is seen in its repeated reprints. This is not a mere aggregation of words and meanings but the fruit of a colossal industry and experience with the actual treatises in the original language on a number of subjects. All the words are arranged etymologically and philologically with special reference to cognate Indo-European languages. The author refers to several authors and extant works. The work includes well over 1,80,000 words. This invaluable thesaurus serves far too well the needs of researchers and lovers of Sanskrit. There is an elaborate and informative introduction detailing the inception and progress of this huge task, successfully completed with the collaboration of devoted scholars like Prof. E. Leumann. Prof. C. Cappeller and others.