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Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition

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  • Coverage Dates: 1989 and earlier
  • Update Frequency: Not updated

The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd Edition) provides access to the full text of the print edition containing authoritative definitions and quotations, illustrating the evolution of the English language.

The dictionary provides a designation, usually abbreviated, which describes the boundaries within which a word or sense is, or was, used. In current OED terminology, there are five categories of labels: status (obsolete, rare, colloquial, etc.); regional (indicating a geographical area of usage, such as the U.S.); grammatical (describing the syntactical role of the word or sense, such as plural or collective); semantic (indicating the interpretation given to a word or sense in a particular context, such as figurative, transferred, specific, etc.); and subject (specifying the discipline, profession, trade, etc. in which a word or sense is used). It is possible to retrieve either entire dictionary entries (including quotations) or to search within and retrieve quotations.

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