Joseph Emerson Worcester, an American lexicographer, born in Bedford, N. H., Aug. 24, 1784, died in Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 27, 1865. He graduated at Yale college in 1811,. and for several years taught in Salem. While here, he prepared the greater part of his " Geographical Dictionary, or Universal Gazetteer " (2 vols., Andover, 1817). His "Gazetteer of the United States " appeared in 1818. He removed to Cambridge in 1819, and in the same year published "Elements of Geography, Ancient and Modern," in 1820 the "Epitome of Geography," in 1823 "Sketches of the Earth and its Inhabitants," and in 1826-'8 " Elements of History, Ancient and Modern," "Epitome of History," and "Outlines of Scripture Geography." In 1827 he published "Johnson's English Dictionary, as improved by Todd and abridged by Chalmers, with Walker's Pronouncing Dictionary combined." In 1828 he was employed to abridge Webster's "American Dictionary," and in 1830 published his own "Comprehensive Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary." In 1830-'31 he visited the universities of England and Scotland, and collected philological and lexicographical works.
In 1846 appeared his " Universal and Critical Dictionary of the English Language," which was reprinted in London without his consent, with a title page altered so as to read "Webster's Critical and Pronouncing Dictionary, etc, enlarged and revised by Worcester," and with a garbled preface. In 1855 he published a "Pronouncing, Explanatory, and Synonymous Dictionary," and in 1860 his quarto "Dictionary of the English Language," in 1854 pages. He also published a "Pronouncing Spelling Book of the English Language" (1857), and "Remarks on Longevity" (from the "Transactions of the American Academy of Sciences"), and edited the " American Almanac" from 1831 to 1843 inclusive.