Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford English Dictionary

This guide will explain how to use the digital version of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

You can print or download this Oxford English Dictionary helpsheet [1.4 MB].


The OED is a guide to the meaning, history and pronunciation of 600,000 words – past and present – from the English speaking world. You can access it in any West Sussex library and 24/7 from your computer, tablet or smartphone once you are a member.


Getting started


Go to eInformation: Online Reference Library and click A-Z of electronic resources.

Screenshot of Online Reference Library tiles
Then scroll down to Oxford English Dictionary. If not using a library computer you will need to sign in using your library card number under the heading 'Already a subscriber?'.

Screenshot of links to Oxford English Dictionary

Screenshot of Oxford English Dictionary homepage

Searching for a word


To search for a word, type it into the ‘Quick search’ box and click on ‘GO’.

Screenshot of search bar
The word you have searched for will be displayed.

Screenshot of search results
You can use the ‘Help’ function to find out how to carry out more advanced searches of the OED or use other resources linked to the dictionary.

Screenshot of how to access advanced search

Screenshot of how to use the Oxford English Dictionary

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This guide has been produced by West Sussex County Council Library Service © 2020.

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