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How to use the OED

For further information on each of these tools, please see the relevant sections below.

OED terminology

Does a dictionary need a glossary? It’s a moot point. Here are quick explanations of some terms used in OED Online, with links to more detailed discussion elsewhere. additions Additions…


To hear any pronunciation spoken aloud, please click the blue play icon to the left of each transcription. OED gives pronunciations for English as spoken in Britain and the United…

Key to symbols and other conventions

Before a word or sense   † = obsolete ‖ = not naturalized, alien (not used in New Edition entries) ¶ = catachrestic and erroneous uses (not used in New…

Glossary of grammatical terms

This glossary provides explanations of the meanings of grammatical terms as they are used in the OED, with examples from the dictionary.