How our dictionaries are created

Our dictionaries today

Using world-class technology, our dictionary programmes constantly monitor the use of language so that our experts can identify and record the changes taking place. The result is dictionaries which give a window on to how language is used today.

How we analyse language

We have access to vast databases of real-world language usage known as corpora. By analysing these we can track emerging words and changing patterns of use. We can also see whether words are becoming more or less popular, and how they are used regionally.

Find out more about corpora >> 

The Oxford Dictionaries editorial team

We are able to provide the world-class, reliable, evidence-based, and up-to-date language information you rely on because of the team of expert lexicographers and editors behind Oxford Dictionaries. The team is made up from a vast pool of more than 250 specialists who are constantly researching, analysing, and documenting languages as they change and develop. 

Working with language communities

When adding a new language to Oxford Dictionaries (either through the Oxford Global Languages (OGL) programme or, we may invite speakers of the language to add words and translations directly into the dictionary. The additions are clearly marked and also go through an editorial checking process.

Find out more about here >>

Find out more about Oxford Global Languages here >>

How do we decide which words are included in English dictionaries? 

Before adding a word to one of our dictionaries we have to see evidence that it is widely used in print or online. We tailor entries to suit the needs of the user: a dictionary for children at primary school level, for example, will contain words and definitions appropriate to that age group.

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