Oxford English Dictionary releases new website design

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The new design of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is now available. Besides a new look and feel, the site offers many new features:

  • Search results move from simple lists to visualizations/timelines
  • They can also be filtered according to a number of categories (e.g. all English words derived from Italian from the field of Music which are first recorded in English in the 18th century)
  • New pages on the OED‘s most-cited authors and texts
  • Links to other online resources—such as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  • A new series of descriptive articles on language, past and present, called ‘Aspects of English’
  • Perhaps the most important new feature involves the Historical Thesaurus to the OED, published in book form in 2009. The entire text is now integrated with the OED Online.

Currently on the new site, among other monthly features, the following articles are highlighted:

Other special features include Word of the Day, Shapers of English, and English in Time.

Until the end of March 2011 access to the older OED site at dictionary.oed.com will remain available to enable users to update bookmarks and other links. Any bookmarks to dictionary.oed.com should be updated to www.oed.com.

The OED is widely acknowledged to be the most authoritative and comprehensives dictionary of English in the world, and the definitive record of English language development over the last 1,500 years. It traces words from their beginnings (which may be in Old or Middle English) to the present, showing the ways in which words have been used over time and illustrating the changes with quotations which add to the historical and linguistic record.

The first edition of the dictionary was published in parts between 1884 and 1928, with the title A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. A ten-volume edition appeared in 1928. The title was changed to The Oxford English Dictionary in 1933 when it was reissued in twelve volumes plus one supplement. Four more supplements were published between 1972 and 1986. All this material was amalgamated to produce the twenty-volume second edition in 1989. Since March 2000 the dictionary has been an online publication with quarterly updates conducted annually.