OED Timeline Challenge

OED Timeline Challenge


Have you seen the timeline game on the OxfordWords blog? If you have access to the OED, you can explore our OED timelines by following the guide below. If you are not a subscriber, or don’t have access to the OED, please see the OxfordWords blog.

Find out which words have entered the English language in your lifetime

Subscriber only advanced search

Use our advanced search to find out which words have entered the English language in your lifetime.

1. Put your birth year and the current year in the date of entry section. For example, if you were born in 1985, put ‘1985-2015’.
2. Click search, and then View as: Timeline.
3. You can refine your search by selecting from the options on the left, or click on the timeline for more information about the words that have entered English in your lifetime.

You can also browse by subject, language of origin, region, usage, part of speech, and letter, and view your results as either a list or timeline.

Discover when words entered the English language with our interactive timelines

When did words from industries, sports, and politics enter the English language? How many words came from India, and in which centuries? 

How to use the OED Timelines

With subscriber access you can discover when words and senses were first recorded in the English language by subject, region, or origin.

1. Choose Timelines from the browse panel.
2. Choose a category from the tabs headed Subject, Region, and Origin.
3. Select a category from the drop-down menu or click the icon to view further sub-categories.
4. Hover over the bars to see the number of results for that bar and a selection of sample words.
5. Click the bar to view the results in the Advanced Search Results.

The period represented by the width of each bar is 50 years by default. It can be adjusted to intervals of 10, 50 or 100 years using the Century options at the bottom of the timeline.

The height of the bar indicates the number of results for that period.

For advice on using timelines, click here.

More guides and information about the OED

How to Use the OED


The history of the OED

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