There are in existence no doubt excellent Sanskrit-English dictionaries compiled by eminent scholars like Monier Williams, H.H. Wilson, V.S. Apte and L.R. Vaidya, but their bulkiness and cost prohibit a large number of users from enjoying an advantage so necessary in their study of Sanskrit. There is therefore a crying need for one which supplies everything required by an average reader and which is at the same time characterized by brevity and cheapness. The present compilation is intended to serve this purpose. The author in this handy work has kept out Sanskrit words which are less commonly used and has tried to avoid all technicalities as well as words which can easily be seen as simple derivatives of some given words. Thus he has been able to reduce the bulk of the dictionary without compromising its usefulness.
Prin. Vaman Shivaram Apte came from a well-to-do family in Konkan. In the Marathi Stats of Sawantwadi, in the small village of Asolopal (Banda Pets) his father was known as a noble-minded Pandit of high integrity of character. But his obliging nature brought the family to straitened circumstances at the time of his death, for standing surety for a friend. Vaman was then only eight years old. He was born in 1858 in the same village and had his primary education there. His mother, a brave lady, saw no future for the family in that native place and came to Kolhaput with her two sons (Vaman and his elder brother) and with great difficulty brought up her children.