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Oxford Dictionaries Online – site guide

Oxford Dictionaries Online

Welcome to Oxford’s free website, Oxford Dictionaries Online.

Oxford’s exciting modern English dictionary and language service has so much to offer, whether you’re seeking authoritative definitions at a click, practical advice on improving your English, answers for all your language FAQs, or help with solving tricky anagrams.

The best way to find out all about Oxford Dictionaries Online is to start exploring the site for yourself, but here are a few pointers as to some of the most interesting and useful features.

A comprehensive dictionary – and so much more…

At the heart of ODO is the new free dictionary – with around 350,000 definitions, you’ll be sure to find the meanings and spellings of all those tricky words, from aardwolf to zygoma.

All the definitions are written by Oxford’s expert lexicographers, who use up-to-the minute language research tools and huge databases such as the Oxford English Corpus to ensure that entries are based on evidence of current usage of real English around the world.

Definitions are given in clear, straightforward English, without abbreviations, and provide a ‘one-stop shop’ if you need to quickly look up and understand a word’s meaning.

But many entries are packed with extra information that goes way beyond a dictionary definition. Let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer:

  • scientific details (e.g. names for the species, genus, family, etc. of plants and animals)

› see entry for burnet

  • factual information (about countries, cities, people, and more)

› see entry for United States

  • language help (in-entry notes and tips about grammar, spelling, and usage)

› see entry for apostrophe

  • link to related words (explore the clickable lists in the More words in this category section to open up whole new horizons of links between words)

› see entry for violin

What else does ODO offer?

You’ll see from the homepage that there are five other sections as well as the main dictionary one:

  • Better writing
  • World of words
  • Puzzles and games

Better writing

Good English starts here – if you want to boost your skills in a particular area such as spelling or grammar, or if you want to write a great job application letter, Better writing will give you all the help you need.

World of Words

For anyone who loves language and wants to know more about words, World of words is full of fascinating facts about English and dictionary-making. You’ll also find answers to your favourite FAQs, such as ‘Are there any words that rhyme with orange’?

Puzzles and games

If you sometimes need a little help with those trickier clues, our crossword and anagram solvers will be right up your street.

And yet more …

  • Become a regular visitor to Oxford Dictionaries Online – there will always be something new for you, from the latest words to enter the language, to articles, news about products, quizzes, and competitions.
  • There’s also a regularly updated interactive feature – this month it’s a graph comparing usage of the words tweet and twitter – but in future you can look forward to clickable pictures on topical themes.
  • If you haven’t signed up for our Word of the day, do so now – your daily email will introduce you to words you’ve never heard of, as well as reminding you of some old favourites.

With all these features, grounded in Oxford’s ongoing research and editorial expertise, Oxford Dictionaries Online is indispensable for everyone who uses written or spoken English in their work or studies: now go and explore!

The opinions and other information contained in OxfordWords blog posts and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Oxford University Press.