Oxford Dictionaries

Articles by Oxford Dictionaries

Quiz: which opposite came first?

Quiz: which opposite came first?

There are plenty of words which come in pairs, as it were, so that knowing the definition of one will almost certainly mean you know the definition of the other. If you’ve understood organized, you’ll also be able to work out what disorganized means; the definition of hygienic leads neatly to the definition of unhygienic, […]

Video: what’s the origin of the phrase ‘to have an albatross around one’s neck’?


OED appeals: can you help us find earlier evidence of the word ‘bookmobile’?

Can you help us? OED Appeals is a dedicated community space on the OED website where OED editors solicit help in unearthing new information about the history and usage of English. Part of the process of revising words and phrases for the OED involves searching for evidence of a word’s first recorded use in English, […]

espresso machine

6 words that everyone pronounces wrong

Sometimes it turns out that knowing how to use a word in a sentence and knowing how to pronounce it are two very different things. Here are several words that lots of people tend to get wrong and have no idea. 1. Espresso Any coffee lover worth their beans has had this argument. Technically, the pronunciation […]

Video: what is the origin of the phrase ‘hair of the dog’?


8 word facts to help you win quizzes

If you’re a fan of quizzes, you’ve probably been in the situation of trying to remember or work out facts about language – and we’re here to help. Here are 9 language facts to help you win quizzes…


Quiz: ‘compliment’ or ‘complement’?

Compliment and complement are pronounced in the same way, but they have very different meanings. Take our quiz to find out if you can tell these two tricky words apart. Read more about the difference between compliment and complement.


Weather idioms: rain

There are plenty of idioms in English that mention the weather – it is, after all, a British stereotype that we can’t hold a conversation without addressing the weather (and, no, it’s not always raining). That national obsession has influenced expressions like it never rains but it pours (misfortunes tend to arrive all at the […]

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