Oxford Dictionary

What are people referring to when they talk about the Oxford Dictionary?

When people mention The Oxford Dictionary, they usually mean one of two major dictionaries published by Oxford University Press each of which has been through several editions.

1. The Oxford English Dictionary (known as the OED) and

2. The Concise Oxford Dictionary (known to its friends as COD pronounced sea-oh-dee).

If your Oxford dictionary is in ten or twelve large volumes, it is the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1884-1928).

If it is in twenty volumes, it is the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1989).

If it is a photographically reduced edition, read with a magnifying glass, it is the Compact Edition of either the first or second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.

If your Oxford dictionary is in two volumes, it is probably the Shorter OED (1930 revised 1976, 1993 and 2002) or the New Shorter OED (completely revised 1993), a historical dictionary based on the OED.

If your Oxford dictionary is in one volume, it could be any of a wide range of Oxford Dictionaries from the tiny Oxford Mini dictionary to the large and comprehensive New Oxford Dictionary of English. The most common one is the Concise Oxford Dictionary, first published in 1911 and now in its eleventh edition (revised 2004). To find out which edition you have, look on the back of the title page.

Oxford University Press publishes a huge range of dictionaries including national English dictionaries, bilingual dictionaries, children's dictionaries and those used in teaching English as a Foreign Language.

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