xford publishes many different types of dictionaries, from bilingual dictionaries, dictionaries for English learners, and children’s dictionaries, to dictionaries for research and study. Perhaps the most well known is the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the definitive historical record of the English language.
This site (www.oxforddictionaries.com) is not the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). You’ll find the OED at www.oed.com. You’ll need a subscription to use the OED fully. You may be able to use the OED at home through your local public library: ask your librarian for information.
The free oxforddictionaries.com site offers you a comprehensive current English dictionary and practical help with writing English. It also contains free up-to-date bilingual dictionaries in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
What is the OED?
The OED is one of the largest dictionaries in the world and the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language, tracing the use of more than 600,000 words over the last 1,000 years through 3 million quotations. The OED defines:
* how a word has been used
* where it came from
* when it first entered the English language
* how its meaning has changed over time and around the world
It illustrates these definitions by quoting from more than 100,000 modern and historical texts, from classic literature such as Shakespeare’s plays to film and television scripts such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as wills, cookery books, blogs, and more. Subscribers to the OED can also access the Historical Thesaurus of the OED onwww.oed.com. This unique resource allows you to explore the riches of the English language by theme, and to chart the linguistic progress over time of a chosen object, concept, or expression.
Take a tour of the OED >>
“Not like other dictionaries”: how the OED is different.
The OED is a historical dictionary, with a structure that is very different from that of a dictionary of current...