Published online by Cambridge University Press: 18 September 2020
Known as ‘the definitive record of the English language‘, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the largest dictionary of English in the world. This chapter traces its creation from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day - through the publication of the first edition, supplement volumes, second edition, and the current third edition and OED Online website. The lexicograhic policies and practices of the various editors are also discussed, e.g. from Herbert Coleridge, Frederick Furnivall, and James Murray to Henry Bradley, Charles Onions, William Craigie, Robet Burchfield, John Simpson, Ed Weiner, and Michael Proffitt. This chapter also discusses the OED‘s current efforts to move from seeing the dictionary as a discrete text to seeing the dictionary as data which can be used in machine learning, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence.