Help with searching Oxford Dictionaries

How do I enter special characters, for example accents?

You do not need to enter accented letters in the search box in order to find words which contain accents. A search for cafe finds cafe, café, Cafe, Café, CAFE, and CAFÉ. However, if you wish to enter accented characters in French, German, Italian, and Spanish, click on the virtual keyboard below the search box. To enter accented characters on a smartphone or tablet, tap and hold down the letter required on the device’s keyboard, and a list of accented characters will appear.

How do I search the Chinese dictionary?

You can search our Chinese-English dictionary either by copying and pasting in Chinese characters or by using pinyin.

How do I search the Russian dictionary?

You can search in the Russian-English dictionary either by copying and pasting in Russian characters or by using the dropdown Russian keyboard in the search bar.

How do I search the Arabic dictionary?

You can search the Arabic-English dictionary by copying and pasting in Arabic characters or by using the dropdown Arabic keyboard in the search bar. Our unique search tool also allows you to search with and without vowels returning all potential results.

Using the Arabic dictionary

Can I use wildcard searching?

The wildcard ? represents any single character (so l?t matches let, lit, lot) and the wildcard * represents one or more characters (so l*t matches let, lit, lot, and also last, light, lament, lepidopterist, and so on). Please note that the site currently does not allow a wildcard as the first character of a search. 

Where is advanced search?

Instead of advanced search, the site now offers a much faster, integrated search of all the dictionary and grammar content on It also features an autocomplete function, which allows you to find definitions, synonyms, translations, and grammar help quickly. 

Does Oxford Dictionaries support federated searching?

Yes; the site can currently be accessed by federated search software via HTTP request and supports the method="get". A search should be constructed like the following example:

For other searches, replace ‘example’ with the appropriate search term. Separate search terms should be separated with the + sign. For example:

book club: