Oxford English Dictionary

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The Oxford English Dictionary (/ɒksfəd ɪŋglɪʃ dɪkʃənəri/), the OED (/əʊwi:di:/), is considered the authority on the evolution of the English language. It is published by Oxford University Press.


The dictionary presents the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words and traces their use through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, including North America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean.

The OED is a historical dictionary, and its entry structure is therefore different from that of dictionaries of current English, which only cover present-day senses, and in which the most common meanings are described first.

The Second Edition of the OED is available as a 20-volume print edition, with 21,730 pages,[1] on CD-ROM, and online.


  • Longest entry in Dictionary: the verb ‘set’ with over 430 senses

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