About Oxforddictionaries.com

Do you care about the language you use? How often have you needed to know the meaning of a word, wondered about its origin, or thought about how you might use it most effectively?

Language matters.

At Oxford Dictionaries, we have just one thing in mind: improving communication through an understanding and passion for language. That explains why we’ve been making dictionaries for more than 150 years and why we continue to innovate and develop new tools and services to suit your language needs as technology and the world around us change. And that’s why today we create content for whoever you are – student or professional, writer or games puzzler, teacher or language learner – and for wherever you need it: online, mobile, or print.

For us, it’s not only about defining words or charting the history of English in the OED. From the beginning, we have immersed ourselves in everything to do with language. As lexicographers and linguists, we collect, process, and analyse the living language and how it’s changing, its history, its usage, its relations with other languages, and who’s using it, from highbrow to slang. The result is a new Oxford Dictionaries that promises to keep evolving to meet your needs, bringing you closer to English and a growing range of world languages.


Where do the words that appear in OxfordDictionaries.com come from?

OxfordDictionaries.com focuses on current English and includes all the main current meanings and uses of words, gathered by analysing and monitoring data from the Oxford Corpus. It’s based on our long history of creating the most comprehensive and up-to-date dictionaries, and includes many thousands of new words in regular updates.

In August 2015 we supplemented OxfordDictionaries.com by adding more than 80,000 words from the OED for which we have evidence of use since 1950. Many of these words are uncommon, but each may be considered as a part of modern English.


What makes Oxford Dictionaries unique?   

  • Our people and our heritage – More than 250 language specialists research the language as it changes and develops every day. As the creators of the OED, we take pride in our language expertise, and we strive to bring the results of our daily research straight to you in the format you choose. 
  • Innovation – We embrace technology and innovation. Our research delves into all types of language, from the language of blogs, emails, and social media to novels and specialist journals, and from Hansard to everyday newspapers and magazines. We use sophisticated language technologies combined with editorial expertise to analyse billions of words of text, track subtle meaning changes, and create a true picture of the changing language.
  • Global reach, local knowledge – We have dedicated dictionary offices throughout the world, from the UK and the US to South Africa, Australia, India, and Canada. Our teams of international experts monitor the latest language trends in English and other languages worldwide, from the moment they appear. 
  • World languages – Our passion for language and communication extends well beyond English. We publish dictionaries in more than 40 languages, from modern European languages to classical languages, as well as languages from around the world, including Arabic, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Gujarati, and Swahili. Our sister site, bab.la, further extends our global language portfolio with dictionaries in Dutch, Finnish, Indonesian, and many more.
  • A site designed around users – The Oxford Dictionaries site is continuously evolving to get you the content you need faster, and our clear, mobile-friendly display is designed to deliver our dictionary entries at their best.


Our mission is to serve your language needs. Explore Oxford Dictionaries and find the content that’s right for you.