Thursday, 6 January 2011

Free OED

Indulge your thirst for etymology. Use the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary free (for a month; until 5 February 2011).

Login with "trynewoed"/"trynewoed."

From languagehat.


  1. So... we use it for free for a month until Feb 5 and then switch to another free website to avoid paying for something that we can already get for free anyway? Sounds like a great business model.

  2. I agree that it's annoying that the OED isn't available for free (I'm fortunate in that, at the moment, I have free access since my university has a subscription). Likewise, I was annoyed when Bartleby took down the free access to Watkins' American Heritage Dictionary IE roots. Both of these really seem like resources which should be made freely available.

    But the OED is useful, so I thought it worthwhile to point out this free month.

    By the bye, where can we already get the same information for free?

  3. Fortunately, the IE roots and Semitic roots were archived by the Internet Archive. The dictionary search forms don't work, but they do work at Yahoo Education. So all is well.

  4. @John: Thanks. Somethings's wrong with the Yahoo Education link though...and I'm curious how to get to the dictionary search through Yahoo.

  5. Sorry about that: the link is at, just in case Blogger screws up again. That gives you pretty much the same interface that Bartleby used to, except that the IE and Semitic roots are not linked, and you have to look them up at the Archive using the links I gave above.

    The Random House Dictionary is now online and searchable at NID3, the unabridged Merriam-Webster Third Edition, is accessible via this backdoor (I live in fear that M-W will notice and close it, so I publicize it only occasionally). That makes all three of the large American dictionaries available online for free. But of course none of them are being regularly updated (though the current Merriam-Webster Online, roughly equivalent to the College Edition) is. And they just ain't the OED ... (snif) ...