Oxford English Dictionary PDF

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Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world.

English dictionaries have been steadily growing worse ever since their inception more than three centuries ago. To set Cawdrey‘s alim small volume of 1604 beside the completed Oxford Dictionary of 1933 is like placing the original atom beside the oak that has grown out. The immensity of this growth is explained by the successive introduction of three new principles in lexicography. The earlier dictionary makers followed in the line of the old glossaries and directed their attention to such words as were likely to be unfamiliar to the ordinary man.

Oxford English Dictionary

As a historical dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary features entries in which the earliest ascertainable recorded sense of a word, whether current or obsolete, is presented first, and each additional sense is presented in historical order according to the date of its earliest ascertainable recorded use. Following each definition are several brief illustrating quotations presented in chronological order from the earliest ascertainable use of the word in that sense to the last ascertainable use for an obsolete sense, to indicate both its life span and the time since its desuetude, or to a relatively recent use for current ones.

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Oxford English Dictionary

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