Oxford English Dictionary










The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is an authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and usage of 500,000 words and phrases past and present, from across the English-speaking world.


The OED is a comprehensive historical dictionary that aims to document the English language in all its varieties from the eleventh century to the present day. OED entries describe the origin, meaning, and history of each word by analyzing evidence of usage from the earliest known to the most recent.


An OED entry is the biography of a word, with senses ordered chronologically. Each word or sense is illustrated with quotations extracted from all kinds of writing, from medieval manuscripts to social media posts.


Key features of this resource include:


  • Quick and easy searching of text
  • Find terms by the meaning when the exact word is not known
  • Find words that have come into English via a particular language
  • Search for quotation from a specific year, author, or work
  • Turn pronunciation, etymologies, variant spellings and quotation marks on and off
  • Access to new and revised words each quarter
  • Compare revised entries with original entries
  • Receive quarterly online newsletters to keep subscribers up to date with the latest revisions


More information is available at Oxford English Dictionary

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