Last modified: April 2, 2017
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The Oxford Dictionary or to term it more correctly: the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is one of the most standard reference dictionaries in the English language and published by the redoubtable Oxford University Press (OUP).
However, it is neither the oldest of the dictionaries nor is it the largest dictionary in the world, as it is popularly believed. The full, bound Oxford Dictionary was published as ten volumes only in 1930, although it existed as unbound fascicles since 1884. However, even the Guinness Book of World Records accords The Oxford Dictionary with the dignity of being the most comprehensive single-language dictionary.
At present the dictionary contains 600,000 words, 3 million quotations and spans more than 1000 years of the English language, usages, meanings, history and pronunciations of the words from across the globe and from all the English-speaking countries. The words in the Oxford Dictionary are not all actual English words.There are words from other languages too that are regularly added as they have come into common usage in the language of the English-speaking population or the English press in the different countries. The update of the new words takes place every three months after a long and rigorous process: The words are selected from various sources, such as publications, reader suggestions, campus analysis, or reading programmes. these collected words are then subjected to the research process to pick out words that are more wide in circulation and have broader uses. definitions, pronunciations and other etymological details are crafted with expert consultations and only then are they included in the online and the print versions of the Oxford Dictionary.
The main difference between OED and other dictionaries is that the meanings are traced from historical evidences and not just confined to the current meanings as seen in the other dictionaries.
The OED is published in many different forms. There are compact versions, pocket versions, student version, advanced learners’ version, and so on. The digitalised OED can be accessed in both its online version as well as in CD ROMs.
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