It’s OK, the OED is still available online

Last Sunday the book and lexicography world held a collective shudder when it was announced in the Press that the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary would not be print published in light of the fact that the paper dictionary market was collapsing.

By Monday OUP had clarified that:

No decision has yet been made on the format of the third edition. It’s likely to be more than a decade before the full edition is published and a decision on format will be taken at that point.

The Dictionary of course has been available electronically for a number of years and is cumulatively available

revised and new entries are published online every three months on OED Online at and a new version of the OED Online website will be launched in December 2010.

OUP media release

So book fans wait on for the new paper copy or otherwise get the content now and as it grows, online.

The 3rd edition may indeed come out in paper but predictably it will be hugely expensive as there will limited buyers. Certainly there will be a limited number of libraries now or in the future who are still buying reference books, for their ever decreasing reference collections.


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