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Oxford English Dictionary (OED): Home

Introduction

The Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language since 1150. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words, both present and past. It traces the usage of words through 2.5 million quotations from a wide range of international English language sources, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to film scripts and cookery books. The OED includes all common words of speech and literature, including scientific/technical terms and foreign words in general use. The library owns several editions of the OED, both print and online.


This guide will assist you with the use of the Oxford English Dictionary. Here you will find:

  1. How to Search: a basic guide in how to conduct searches in the Oxford English Dictionary Online.

  2. How to Read an OED Online Entry: once you've found the entry you're looking for, how to interpret what you're seeing.

  3. Tips on Advanced Searching: constructing more complex queries and searching within entries.