Oxford Dictionary of English

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A copy of the 2001 edition of NODE

The Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE) is a single-volume English dictionary published by Oxford University Press, first published in 1998 as The New Oxford Dictionary of English (NODE). The word "new" was dropped from the title with the 2nd edition in 2003.[1] This dictionary is not based on the Oxford English Dictionary and should not be mistaken for a new or updated version of the OED. It is a completely new dictionary which strives to represent as faithfully as possible the current usage of English words.

The 2005 edition contains 355,000 words, phrases, and definitions, including biographical references and thousands of encyclopedic entries. A 3rd edition was published in August 2010, with some new words, including "vuvuzela."

Currently it is the largest single-volume English-language dictionary published by Oxford University Press.

Editorial principles and practices

The first editor, Judy Pearsall, wrote in the introduction that it is based on a modern understanding of language and is derived from a corpus of contemporary English usage. For example, the editors did not discourage split infinitives, but instead justified their use in some contexts. The first edition was based on bodies of texts such as the British National Corpus and the citation database of the Oxford Reading Programme.

The dictionary "views the language from the perspective that English is a world language". A network of consultants provide extensive coverage of English usage from the United States to the Caribbean and New Zealand.

A more unusual decision was to omit pronunciations of common, everyday words, contrary to the practice of most large dictionaries.[2] The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is used to present pronunciations, which are in turn based on the Received Pronunciation.

The 2nd edition in 2003 added over 3,000 new words, senses and phrases drawn from the Oxford English Corpus.[1]

The New Oxford American Dictionary is the American version of the Oxford Dictionary of English, with substantial editing and uses a diacritical respelling scheme rather than the IPA system.


  • 1st edition – 1998
  • 2nd edition – 2003[3]
  • 2nd edition, revised – 2005[3][1]
  • 3rd edition – 2010[3]

The 3rd edition is available online via Oxford Dictionaries Online, as well as in print.[4] The online version is updated every three months.[5] Oxford Dictionaries Online also includes the New Oxford American Dictionary, Oxford Thesaurus of English, Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus and grammar and usage resources.[6]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Hughes, H.G.A. (2004). "Oxford Dictionary of English (2nd edition)". Reference Reviews. 18 (4): 36–37. doi:10.1108/09504120410535407. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Generally speaking, native speakers of English do not need information about the pronunciation of ordinary, everyday words....For this reason, no pronunciations are given for such words (or their compounds or derivatives)....the principle followed is that pronunciations are given where they are likely to cause problems for the native speaker of English", The New Oxford Dictionary of English, Oxford University Press, 1998, ed. Judy Pearsall et al, Introduction, p xvii.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Stevenson, Angus (20 August 2010). "Dictionary attack!". OxfordWords blog. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 8 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Stevenson, Angus, ed. (2010). Oxford Dictionary of English (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. vii.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Harrison, Emma (19 June 2014). "Oxford dictionaries: Demise of the printed editions?". BBC News. Retrieved 8 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Oxford Dictionaries content help". Oxford Dictionaries Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 8 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


External links