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More than 600,000 words, over a thousand years

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.

As a historical dictionary, the OED is very different from Dictionaries of current English, in which the focus is on present-day meanings. You’ll still find present-day meanings in the OED, but you’ll also find the history of individual words, and of the language—traced through 3 million quotations, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books.

The OED started life more than 150 years ago. Today, the dictionary is in the process of its first major revision. Updates revise and extend the OED at regular intervals, each time subtly adjusting our image of the English language.

 

OED turns 90!

2018 marks the 90th anniversary of the completion of the first volume of the OED. Celebrate with us and learn more about the past, present, and future of one of the largest dictionaries in the world.

To celebrate the anniversary, we are pleased to offer annual individual OED subscriptions at a reduced rate of £90 (usually £215) or $90 (usually $295).
Buy your subscription today >>

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Using the OED

Discover the 21st century OED and find out more about the revision programme, how to read an entry, and how to use the online OED

Students and Teachers: using the OED for research, study, and teaching

For librarians: ideas and guides for getting the most from your subscription

Frequently asked questions: some questions often asked by users of OED Online

OED Blog

Discover the 21st century OED and find out more about the revision programme, how to read an entry, and how to use the online OED

What’s new: every three months updates revise existing entries and add new words

Aspects of English: informative and entertaining commentaries on the English language, written by dictionary editors and specialist authors