Online dictionaries: which is best?


The Guardian: “The new edition of the Oxford English Dictionary will be online-only. Many of its rivals – Collins, Chambers et al – have already launched free web versions. But which one is the wordsmith’s best friend?

Sad news for those of us with fond memories of long minutes lost in the more arcane histories of English words: the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, which a team of 80 lexicographers has been working on since 1989, will probably never be printed. “The print dictionary market is just disappearing,” Oxford University Press CEO Nigel Portwood told a Sunday newspaper. It will still be available online – in fact, in December, the web version is being relaunched, including for the first time the historical thesaurus of the OED, which contains almost every word in English from Old English to the present. The problem is that it is a tad pricey: £7 plus VAT for a week’s access; £205 plus VAT for a year. Luckily, there are alternatives.”

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