The History of the Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford_English_Dictionary_2ndLooking familiar? I’m sure each and every one of you has this dictionary. 🙂 In deed, the Oxford English Dictionary was my first dictionary. 

Last week we were discussing about how come we all have the same dictionary… And I decided to Google its history…

For those we want to learn key information about the OED can just have a look what I’ve found.



The Oxford English Dictionary (OED), published by the Oxford University Press, is the premier British dictionary of the English language.

Work began on the dictionary in 1857 but published 1884.

It was a project under the name A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles; Founded Mainly on the Materials Collected by The Philological Society.

In 1895, the title The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) was first used.

In 1928 the full dictionary was republished in ten bound volumes.

In 1933 it was republished in its reprinting as twelve volumes with a one volume supplement.

In 1989, the second edition was published in twenty volumes.

The first electronic version of the dictionary was made available in 1988.

The online version has been available since 2000.

As of August 2010, it has been receiving two million hits per month from paying subscribers.

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With descriptions for approximately 750,000 words, the Oxford English Dictionary is the world’s most comprehensive single-language print dictionary according to the Guinness Book of World Records.


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