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How to subscribe

Our birthday present to you: to celebrate the OED’s 90th birthday, we’ve reduced the price of an individual annual subscription to £90 or $90 for the duration of the birthday year.

How to use the OED

Browse the Help pages Keys and explanations What is the OED online? Abbreviations: a list of common abbreviations used in the OED Glossary: quick explanations of terms used in the…

Glossary

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…

Guide to Categories

‘Categories’ enables you to explore and analyse the contents of the OED from many different perspectives: subject areas, regional English, types of usage, and the roots of English. Read more…

Guide to Sources

‘Sources’ gives extensive information about hundreds of sources of evidence used in the OED: novelists, poets, explorers, and scientists; newspapers, magazines, diaries, and letters. Find out who they were and…

Guide to the Historical Thesaurus

The Historical Thesaurus of the OED is a huge semantic index of the content of the dictionary. It provides new ways to discover, explore, and browse aspects of the English…

Guide to Timelines

Timelines give you a graphical representation of any aspect of English over time: whether that’s the language as a whole; English relating to a particular subject area; English used by…

2010 relaunch explained

Before the 2010 relaunch, users saw unrevised entries in their static OED2 (1989) version and revised entries in their updated OED3 version. During the course of revision, a very large…

Key to pronunciation

To hear any pronunciation spoken aloud, click the blue play icon to the left of each transcription. The pronunciations given are those in use among educated urban speakers of standard…

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 Edition…