The corpus and Oxford Dictionaries

Language research based on real evidence

Oxford Dictionaries are continually monitoring and researching how language is evolving. Corpus analysis is central to this process, and provides real evidence on which to base our language research.

What is a corpus?

A corpus is a collection of texts of written (or spoken) language presented in electronic form. It provides evidence of how language is used in real situations, which allows our editors to write accurate and meaningful entries.

Read more about what makes a corpus.

The Oxford English Corpus and Oxford New Words Corpus ensure that we can track and record the very latest developments in language today. By analysing these corpora and using special software, we can see words in context and find out how new words and senses are emerging, as well as spotting other trends in usage, spelling, world English, and so on.