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“The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.”



Find all the definitions, the historical mention of the word from the first time they were used, the British and the American pronunciation of the word, the frequency with which the word is used, but also the etymology.

For every meaning a list of quotations appears.


Discover when words entered the English language.
Browse the timelines in 22 subjects, 7 regions and 12 origins. You can refine your research when you see this icon

Example: Subject Roman Law, and we noticed that most of words from Roman Law entered in the English language for the first time between 1850 and 1900.

You can click on a “date range” bar, or on a “view as” list. The list that appears can be refined again on the right side of the results:


More for specific research

Example: French noun about Food/cooking

A list appears, you can change it to a timeline


You can browse directly by categories: Subject, Usage, Region and Origin.


Find how many sources have been cited, when they are the first source known which cited the word. A direct search can be made at the top of the screen.

Example: William Shakespeare is the second most quoted source in the OED.


How to find it: Go to the Library homepage  –  Find Ebooks and Reference Materials  – Encyclopedias and dictionaries

Video guides on how to use the OED.

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