Oxford English Dictionary

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Oxford English Dictionary


(OED), the largest dictionary of the English language. The first edition was published by the Oxford University Press beginning in 1884. It was based on material gathered by the London Philological Society and was called the New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (a second title, Oxford English Dictionary, appeared in the volumes published from 1895). By 1929 ten volumes, covering the letters A to Z, had been published and a supplement appeared in 1933. That year a new 13-voIume edition of the dictionary was published. Called the Oxford English Dictionary, it was virtually a facsimile of the first edition. The dictionary has not been reissued since 1933, although a two-volume abridged version—the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary—has appeared. The first volume of a projected three-volume supplement came out in 1972.

The Oxford English Dictionary includes all the words in the English literary and spoken language since 1150 and gives a detailed description of their pronunciation and their etymological, semantic, orthographic, and grammatical characteristics. Historical changes in the meaning, spelling, pronunciation, and usage of each word are illustrated by examples, usually citations. The dictionary contains about 500,000 words and includes about 2 million citations from 20,000 works by more than 5,000 authors.

Abridged versions of the dictionary—the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary and the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English—are issued regularly.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Oxford English Dictionary

(OED) great multi-volume historical dictionary of English. [Br. Hist.: Caught in the Web of Words]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis This hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian word is the longest enshrined in Merriam Webster's Third New International Dictionary and, since 1982, the longest in the Oxford English Dictionary. The word describes a miners' disease caused by inhaling too much quartz or silicate dust.
A Queensland University of Technology (QUT) physics lecturer has found a 99-year-old mistake in the Oxford English Dictionary - and is having it corrected.
Carbon footprint, carbon-neutral, carbon trading and the 'Chelsea tractor' all make it into the first edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary for five years.
Most of the entries (relating mainly to the twentieth century) come from the Oxford English Dictionary Science Fiction Project, which has collected terms since 2001.
Libraries throughout the county now have a subscription allowing customers free access to the online versions of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the Oxford Reference, Oxford English Dictionary, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Grove Music and Grove Art.
Someone in India knows every word of the Oxford English dictionary and the page numbers the words are on.
John Simpson, of the Oxford English Dictionary, argues: "When people blame words they are actually blaming the society that uses them.
Authors of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary could help him with the answer after deciding to include the word for the first time in its latest edition published today.
Then, to the definition of culture in the Oxford English Dictionary - nowhere does it mention ``buildings.''
The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published: In 1857, members of the Philological Society of London decided that existing English language dictionaries were deficient and called for a re-examination of the language from Anglo-Saxon times onward.
Edited by William Trumble and Lesley Brown, the new edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary contains a number of new words and phrases ranging from 'Jedi' and 'The Force' to 'Blairism' and 'Bunny Boiler'.
For those who care, HAR-ass is favored over ha-RASS in the Oxford English Dictionary. Some people ascribe a less bellicose tone to the former.

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