The history of Sanskrit dictionary is, perhaps, older than that of the Sanskrit Grammar. It got started with Vedic Concordance named 'Nighantu'. In reality, instead of being a dictionary, Nighantu is more or less a word. During later period, various dictionaries were compiled but, unfortunately, we have lost their original scripts. Amara Simha's 'Amarakosa' has been considered to be the oldest and most popular compilation. It is also known as Namalinganusasana. In later period, Halayudha-kosa, Vaijayanti-kosa, Mankha-kosa, Nama-mala and Anekartha-samgraha etc. names are worth mentioning.
In present time, Sanskrit English Dictionary of H.H. Wilsonm, W. Monier and Sanskrit Worterbuch of Oto Bohtlingk's and Sanskrit English Dictionary by Vamana Sivarama Apte are the excellent works in this tradition.
In the tradition of Dictionaries, Sanskrit English Dictionary compiled by Sir Monier Monier-Williams is an important and worth praising work. It's technique of word collection is modern (as the words have been arranged in the alphabetical order, according to the first letter of the word.)
The first edition of this Dictionary was completed in 1872. The work includes well over 1,80,000 words. The dictionary of Sir M. Monier Williams is the most popular and scholarly work of Sanskrit world, equally accepted and appreciated by Indian and Western scholars.
The present edition is entirely recomposed, enlarged and presented in 2 volumes in deluxe hard-bound format in front of the readers. In the present edition, the earlier used diacritical notations have been replaced with their corresponding modern equivalents. The 'Additions and Corrections' portion given at the end of the original edition, has been inserted at appropriate places in the dictionary itself in the present edition.
The present edition is a result of atleast four years of hard work involved in the composing, scanning, multiple proof-readings, designing various fonts, etc. We hope this edition will fulfil the much awaited requirement of enlarged, highly-readable edition of Sir M. Monier William's Sanskrit-English Dictionary.