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"The definitive record of the English language". It is a guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world.
As a historical dictionary, the OED is very different from dictionaries of current English, in which the focus is on present-day meanings. You’ll still find present-day meanings in the OED, but you’ll also find the history of individual words, and of the language—traced through 3 million quotations.