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Oxford English Dictionary: Home

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OED Description

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 more than 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.

OED updates

June 2022 update

Our latest update: more than 700 new words, senses, and sub-entries have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary in our latest update, including ankle-biter, sharenting, and Mozart and Liszt.

New words notes: Learn more about the words added to the OED this quarter in our new words notes by OED Senior Editor, Jonathan Dent.

Release notesOED Executive Editor, Danica Salazar, also reveals the latest East African English words to be added to the OED, such as biting and daladala.

Release notes: OED Executive Editor, Kate Wild, discusses words related to veganism and vegetarianism in this blog post on updates to the Historical Thesaurus of the OED.

Release notes: Read about the revision of ignore and ignoramus in a blog post by OED Executive Editor, Eleanor Maier.


New resources for Twitter: videos about the OED and Historical Thesaurus

Download more videos to use on social media here.

New resources

New tools for academics

The OED Text Annotator beta

Researchers conducting qualitative and quantitative analysis of language in historical texts and literature are all too aware that problems often arise due to the differences in spelling and meaning of words through time. To solve this difficulty, the OED team are currently developing an experimental product—the OED Text Annotator beta.

 The OED Text Annotator beta will allow you to input a digital version of your chosen text for analysis, before receiving a file in which each lexical token has been annotated with OED information, including etymology and date range.

We are now inviting members of the academic community to test the OED Text Annotator beta. If academics would like to get involved, we kindly ask that they join the OED Researchers Advisory Group. This is a group for academic researchers, and this is where the discussions and updates for these early stages of the Text Annotator project will take place.


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About the OED

Meet the editors

Learn about the work of the OED's various editorial team in a collection of videos, interviews and articles from the OED blog.