Sir M. Monier-Williams had first published his English-Sanskrit Dictionary in 1851. Subsequently, he embarked upon this Sanskrit-English Dictionary, with the primary objects 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.
About the Author:
Monier Williams was the son of Colonel Monier Williams, surveyor-general in the Bombay presidency. His surname was "Williams" until 1887 when he added his Christian name to his surname to create the hyphenated "Monier-Williams". Monier Williams taught Asian languages at the East India Company College from 1844 until 1858, when company rule in India ended after the mutiny. He came to national prominence when he competed with Max Müller for the Boden Chair of Sanskrit at Oxford University, following the death of Horace Hayman Wilson in 1860. Hayman had started the University's collection of Sanskrit manuscripts upon taking the Chair in 1831, and had indicated his preference that Williams should be his successor. The campaign was notoriously acrimonious. Müller was known for his liberal religious views and his philosophical speculations based on his reading of Vedic literature. Monier Williams was seen as a less brilliant scholar, but had a detailed practical knowledge of India itself and of actual religious practices in modern Hinduism. Müller, in contrast, had never visited India.