Category: Dictionaries and lexicography

raised hand

An OED editor answers your questions

We recently asked you to provide questions about lexicography and language for a Senior Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) – and you certainly had a lot to ask. We’ve picked some of the best questions, and… here are the answers! in a bit of a dilemma. why was 'dilemma' spelled 'dilemna'? is the […]

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Reading the Canadian Oxford Dictionary: the letter A

Reading the Canadian Oxford Dictionary: the letter A

In the first of an occasional series, guest blogger Nikki talks us through her ongoing project to read every word in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. A bookmark holds my place in the largest book I have ever attempted to read – a behemoth weighing in at 4.6 pounds. It looks odd with the braid hanging […]

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Otter cafe

LOYO, Obamacar, and otter café: new words in OxfordDictionaries.com

The most recent update to OxfordDictionaries.com sees a host of new words added from the worlds of politics, popular culture, and social media. You can see ten highlights from the update below. In each case, clicking on the word will take you through to the word’s new dictionary entry, where you can see full definitions, example sentences, and […]

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California and the Oxford English Dictionary

California and the Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has worked with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Public Library to look at words in the Oxford English Dictionary that have come from California. From Valleyspeak to the language of the movies, the timeline highlights more than 150 terms which are first found in the Golden […]

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Ice Cube

9 singers and groups you may not expect to find in the OED

Over two million quotations are included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and, with approximately 33,300 quotations, Shakespeare is the author you’re most likely to encounter when looking up a word. While the Bard’s inclusion doesn’t seem very surprising, the dictionary also cites a number of people whose inclusion is a bit more unexpected. For example, […]

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Spine of the Oxford English Dictionary and the New English Dictionary

Women and the Oxford English Dictionary

On International Women’s Day, we shine the spotlight on 10 women without whom the OED would not be what it is today. Some are famous, some less so, but all made a vital and important contribution. 1. Charlotte Yonge (1823–1901) Novelist, perhaps best known today for The Heir of Redclyffe (1853). She also wrote an […]

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Illustrating the OED Word of the Day, from ablow to nowcast

Illustrating the OED Word of the Day, from ablow to nowcast

Have you ever wondered what those OED Words of the Day look like? If you have, then you are in luck! Every week, we feature an illustration of one of the OED Words of the Day, as created by our own Imogen Foxell, an illustrator and Senior Editor in Oxford Dictionaries. In these visuals, Imogen illuminates […]

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dictionary examples

How are dictionary examples chosen?

We often receive queries about the example sentences on OxfordDictionaries.com. Some people assume that they are written by the lexicographers who produce the definitions, but in fact they are chosen from real-life examples collected on Oxford’s corpora—vast databases of text drawn from many publications, websites, and other sources. Oxford takes an evidence-based approach to lexicography, […]

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