The definitive English-language dictionary, plus historical thesaurus and more.
A guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of over half a million words from across the English-speaking world in North America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Caribbean. It also offers the best in etymological analysis and in listing of variant spellings, and it shows pronunciation using the International Phonetic Alphabet.
As a historical dictionary, the OED has an entry structure that is very different from that of a dictionary of current English. For each word in the OED, the various groupings of senses are dealt with in chronological order according to the quotation evidence. In a complex entry with many strands, the development over time can be seen in a structure with several 'branches'.
Apart from the historical information, the OED entries give users the most comprehensive information about the most recent, or main form of a word, phrase, combination, abbreviation, letter of the alphabet, or other meaningful unit of the English language.
Use this database to answer questions like
- What is the meaning of the word "hegemony"?
- How is it pronounced?
- When was it first used?