The definitive record of the English language

English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary provides an unsurpassed guide to the English language, documenting 500,000 words through 3.5 million illustrative quotations from over 1,000 years of history across the English-speaking world.


Explore the Oxford English Dictionary ⟶

Since its inception in 1857, the OED has been the product of continual and focused development by a world-class team of lexicographers and language technologists, creating a uniquely structured and curated resource for the benefit of academic researchers and inquiring minds everywhere.

From the first print instalment of the First Edition, to the digitized Second Edition with its CD-ROM, to the ongoing online publication of the Third Edition, the OED has enabled scholars to ask ever more expansive and in-depth questions about the English language and the societies seen through it.

Continuing this commitment to academic partnership, the OED team is working with researchers to further investigate the OED dataset’s wealth of capabilities, ensuring that we continue to support this community in ways which reflect the growing diversity of the research landscape.

One of the ways we are fulfilling this commitment is through the development of new tools and applications to harness the power of the OED dataset.

Researchers can now test out the OED Text Visualizer, which creates annotated visualizations of historical texts using OED data, and use the OED Researcher API to quickly and easily access and manipulate the OED's data in new and exciting ways.

How could you contribute to the next phase of the OED’s evolution?