Released on 31 Aug 2010
Statement on the OED and dictionary publishing at Oxford University Press
Dictionaries are and will remain a fundamental part of Oxford University Press's publishing. We publish over 500 dictionaries, thesauruses, and language reference titles in more than 40 languages, and in a variety of print and electronic formats so that readers can access information in the most convenient way.
Demand for online resources is growing but large numbers of people continue to purchase dictionaries in printed form and we have no plans to stop publishing print dictionaries.
Our range of dictionaries includes the 20 volume Oxford English Dictionary - which is currently available in print, online and on CD-ROM - as well as different, small-format, single volume dictionaries.
The first edition of the multi-volume Oxford English Dictionary was fully published in 1928, and the second edition in 1989. No decision has yet been made on the format of the third edition. It is likely to be more than a decade before the full edition is published, and a decision on format will be taken at that point. Decisions about the format of the OED are made independently of other dictionaries in our range.
A team of 80 lexicographers are currently preparing the third edition of the OED, which is 28 per cent complete. No final completion date is yet confirmed.
However, revised and new entries are published online every three months on OED Online at www.oed.com and a new version of the OED Online website will be launched in December 2010.
Oxford University Press prepares the OED, and many of its other dictionaries, in a format-neutral form so that it is suitable for all types of publication.
Notes for Editors
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The Oxford English Dictionary is the accepted authority on the evolution of the English language over the last millennium. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of words, both past and present.
The OED is a historical dictionary: it covers the language from Old English (c700-1150) to the present day. Senses are arranged chronologically, with the earliest meaning first. This is different to OUP’s other ‘current English’ dictionaries, in which the most commonly used meaning is listed first.
Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. OUP is the world's largest university press with the widest global presence. It currently publishes more than 6,000 new publications a year, has offices in around fifty countries, and employs more than 5,000 people worldwide. It has become familiar to millions through a diverse publishing programme that includes scholarly works in all academic disciplines, bibles, music, school and college textbooks, children's books, materials for teaching English as a foreign language, business books, dictionaries and reference books, and academic journals.