This Dictionary has been undertaken to supply a want long felt by the student, f a complete and at the same time cheap Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Very little need, I think, be said with regard to the necessity of bringing out a work like this, when the study of Sanskrit has received such a strong impetus during the last twenty five years. There have been four or five Sanskrit-English Dictionaries published till now; but very few of them fulfil the two essential conditions of the popularity and usefulness of such works: satisfying all the requirements of students and at the same time being within their easy reach. The Dictionaries of Professors Wilson and Monier Williams are very useful and valuable works, but their prices-particularly of the latter-are prohibitively high, and they do not also meet many of the most ordinary wants of Sanskrit readers. A student, while reading Sanskrit at School or College, generally expects that the Dictionary which he uses will give will give appropriate equivalents for such words and compound expressions as may have peculiar meanings or shades of meaning in particular passages.
Vaman Shivram Apte (1858 – 9 August 1892) was an Indian lexicographer and a professor of Sanskrit at Pune's Fergusson College. He is best known for his compilation of a dictionary, The Student's English-Sanskrit Dictionary. Vaman Shivaram Apte came from a well-to-do family in Konkan. In the Marathi State of Sawantwadi, in the small village of Asolopal (Banda Peta) his father was known as a noble-minded Pandit of high integrity of character.
He passed the Matriculation examination and secured more than 90% of the total marks, with the unique Sanskrit scholarship, named after Jagannath Shankarshet. Prof. Kielhorn wanted him to study in the Deccan College directly under him. There too Vamanrao showed his brilliance in all examinations and won the Bhau Daii Sanskrit Prize at the B. A. examination (1877) and the Bhagawandas Scholarship at the M. A. examination(1879). Apte decided once for all to devote himself to the cause of national education by joining the founders of the New English School in 1880, in its first year.