It's vital for children to be able to access language support at their level, using age-appropriate vocabulary and definitions, and examples from contexts they will recognise. At Oxford, we produce a range of dictionaries that build and grow with children’s levels of vocabulary and comprehension, each catering to a specific age range and stage of learning.
We use our expertise in children’s language to identify which words to include for each age and to ensure that the definitions use words children will know or can look up in the same book. We also make sure the information supporting those words – the example sentences, pronunciations, grammar information, usage and word origin notes – are accessible. No vulgar, offensive, or sensitive vocabulary is included in our datasets.
The below examples demonstrate how the definition of the word air evolves through different levels of our children’s dictionaries and the Oxford Dictionary of English for adults:
air NOUN air
(1) air is the mixture of gases which surrounds the earth and which everyone breathes (2) an air is a tune (3) an air of mystery or secrecy is a feeling that things are mysterious or secret.
>to be in the air is to be just an idea, and not something certain. Our plans are still in the air.
>to be on the air is to be on the radio or television.
>to put on airs is to behave grandly, as if you are important.
(1) the mixture of gases (mainly oxygen and nitrogen) that surround the Earth and that we breathe (2) the space around and above the surface of the Earth - The trajectory of a ball flying through the air (3) an impression or appearance - She had an air of mystery.
>by air in or or by aircraft.
>in the air evident or noticeable. Political change is in the air.
>on the air broadcast or broadcasting by radio or television.
>put on airs to behave as if you are superior to other people.
air /ɛː/ NOUN
(1) (mass noun) The invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth, a mixture mainly of oxygen and nitrogen. The surface tension of water is increased, and even the density of air surrounding the Earth ebbs and flows like the tides in the sea.
1.1 Air regarded as necessary for breathing. The air was stale.
1.2 The free or unconfined space above the surface of the earth. He celebrated by tossing his hat in the air.
1.3 (usually as modifier) Referring to the use of aircraft. Air traffic.
1.4 The earth's atmosphere as a medium for transmitting radio waves Radio stations have successfully sold products over the air.
1.5 One of the four elements in ancient and medieval philosophy and in astrology (considered essential to the nature of the signs of Gemini, Aquarius, and Libra) as modifier. An air sign.
1.6 (count noun) A breeze or light wind.
(2) An impression of a quality or manner given by someone or something. She answered with a faint air of boredom.
2.1 airs An annoyingly affected and condescending manner. He began to put on airs and think he could boss us around.
(3) (music) A tune or short melodious song. Traditional Scottish airs sung in the Gaelic tongue.
(4) A jump off the ground on a snowboard or skateboard. I love to watch Richie ride; he's my fave, some style and clean airs.
The following dictionary datasets are pre-prepared and immediately available for licensing:
- First – Age 5 – 6
- Junior – Age 6 – 8
- Primary – Age 8 – 10
- School – Age 10 – 14
- Student – Age 14 – 16