Eighty years ago, the "greatest work in dictionary-making ever undertaken" was completed. And with its enormous range, unparalleled historical depth, detailed etymologies, and inexhaustible supply of illustrative quotations, it has enriched the lives of writers, readers, and word-lovers of all stripes ever since. Begun in 1857, published in ten volumes in 1928, subsequently revised and expanded to 20 volumes in 1989, and now adopted to the electronic age, the OED has become the most venerated and most beloved English-language reference ever compiled.
The key feature of the OED, of course, is its unique historical focus. Accompanying each definition is a chronologically arranged group of quotations that illustrate the evolution of meaning from the word's first recorded usage and show the contexts in which it can be used. The quotations are drawn from a huge variety of sources--literary, scholarly, technical, popular-and represent authors as disparate as Geoffrey Chaucer and Erica Jong, William Shakespeare and Raymond Chandler, Charles Darwin and John Le Carre. In all, nearly 2.5 million quotations--illustrating over a half-million words--can be found in the OED. Other features distinguishing the entries in the dictionary are the most authoritative definitions, detailed information on pronunciation, variant spellings throughout each word's history, extensive treatment of etymology, and details of area of usage and of any regional characteristics (including geographical origins).
A dictionary like no other in the world, the OED has been described as "among the wonders of the world of scholarship." Reflecting upon the Dictionary's 80 years, that statement is today more apt than it ever has been.
Also available online at: www.oed.com
`The ultimate authority on the English language as well as a history of English speech and thought from its infancy to the present day.' The Times`The greatest work in dictionary making ever undertaken.' The New York Times`The gigantic total picture of the English language...an epic achievement.' The Observer`The greatest dictionary in any language.' Daily Telegraph
Series: Oxford English Dictionary (20 Vols.)
Number Of Pages: 22000
Published: 30th March 1989
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 34.29 x 26.04
Weight (kg): 68.0
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: Revised