What’s new

March 2014 update

Over 900 new words, phrases, and senses enter the Oxford English Dictionary in this update. Many appear in entries fully updated for the first time since the OED’s original edition. Some words, like book, death, and honey, have now been expanded by dozens of new items.

Additions this March include bestie, bookaholic, and beat boxer. You can read more about the new and revised words and meanings in this article by Katherine Martin, Head of US Dictionaries.

Deputy Chief Editors Philip Durkin and Edmund Weiner have written our release notes which delve a little deeper into the entries that have been revised; Philip Durkin looks in particular at empathy, employ/employee/employment, and empire/emperor, whilst Edmund Weiner investigates the history of toilet and its journey from the French word toile ‘cloth’ to the WC or restroom of today.

See a full list of the new words, subentries, and senses added in this update.

The OED publishes four updates a year. The next update will be added to the dictionary in June 2014.

4 October 2012: The OED Appeals

The OED Appeals is a major new online initiative involving the public in tracing the history of English words. Using a dedicated community space on the OED website, editors are soliciting help in unearthing new information about the history and usage of English, including the earliest examples of particular words. The website enables the public to post evidence in direct response to OED editors online, fostering a collective effort to record the English language and find the true roots of our vocabulary.

Find out more about the OED Appeals
Video: An introduction to the OED Appeals
Read a history of the OED’s Appeals to the public

Articles on OED Online

Windows on to words: dive into the OED!
Shapers of English: Tania Styles looks at place names in the OED.
English in time: Eleanor Maier explores how the ‘buster’ suffix has become ubiquitous.
English in use: Penny Silva writes about South African English.
More English in use: Richard Shapiro examines whether Indian cardinal numbers are the most distinctive counting system in English.
Word stories: Denny Hilton on The ‘auto-’ age.
Word of the Day: Sign up to Word of the Day or follow OED Online on Follow oedonline on Twitter.

Videos

Video shorts: a series of videos now live examines how the OED is produced behind the scenes: