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The entry display

Page layout

  • The entry is in the main part of the window on the left.
  • Information about the entry appears in the panel on the right, along with links to the corresponding entry in other dictionaries and resources.
  • Above the entry are links back to the other results in the results list, and output options.


On the far right is information on your search history and the word wheel. The word wheel enables you to switch quickly to adjacent entries or look up entries quickly without doing a quick search.

The information panel

Information about the entry

The editorial status and date of the entry is shown in the information panel to the right. Fuller information can be found at the foot of the entry.

More information on OED entries:

The contents of the online Dictionary

Viewing Second Edition, Additions, and New Edition Entries

In this entry:

An alphabetical list of links to any compounds, phrases, or other terms which appear within this entry.

Links to other dictionaries

Links to the corresponding entry in other dictionaries are listed here. Click the link(s) to view.


Cross-references to other entries in the text are highlighted in blue. Hover over a cross-reference to see the definition of the target sense or entry. Click on a cross-reference to go to that sense or entry.

Citation details

The source of each quotation is highlighted in blue. Click on a work title to see more details. These usually give a full reference for the source, along with information about the author and work. Click on the links provided to find more information, or to find related quotations.

Thesaurus and Categories

Thesaurus »

Click here to display the Historical Thesaurus class to which the sense belongs.

  • Click on any of the terms in the list to go to the relevant sense in the corresponding entry.
  • Click Go to Historical Thesaurus » to open this class in the Thesaurus. The matching subcategory is highlighted in the tree.

(Click  to close the window without following any of the links.)

Categories »

Click here to see any subject, region, or usage categories to which the current sense belongs.

  • Click on any category label to search for other senses belonging to this category.

Display options

You have some choices about how the entry is displayed. By default, the entry is displayed in full, including the quotations.

View as: Outline | Full entry

Click on Outline to switch to a view of the entry in outline only, without quotations and with Forms and Etymology truncated.

Quotations: Show all | Hide all

Choose Hide all to hide the quotations.

(Show Quotations)/(Hide Quotations)

Click to show or hide the quotations attached to a particular sense of an entry. When quotations are hidden, the date range of the quotations is shown instead.

Etymology: (Show more)| (Show less)

Click these options to show more or less of the etymology.

Forms: (Show more)| (Show less)

Click these options to show more or less of the variant forms section.

Changing the size of the text

To switch between the standard and larger text size options, use the text size buttons in the top right-hand corner of the entry window.

Your search history

The panel to the far right of the entry window displays information about your search history and the entries you have viewed so far.

My entries

Click here to view a list of the entries you have viewed in the current session. Use the scroll bar to scroll through the list if necessary. Click on any of the entries to move to it.

My searches

Click here to view a list of the searches you have run in the current session. A list of your search terms (with numbers of results for each) is displayed. Click on any of the searches to move to its Results list.

The word wheel

The word wheel, headed Jump to:, contains the list of all the entries in the dictionary. It always opens with the most recently viewed entry highlighted in the centre of the list. Click on any entry to display it.

Browse the word wheel:

  • A page at a time using arrows at the top and bottom of the list
  • By typing the first few letters of the word you want into the input box above the list. The wheel starts to move to the closest match as soon as you start to type

Listing the entries by date

By default the entries are listed alphabetically. To switch to listing them by date, click Date.

Returning to the top of an entry

There are several ways to get back to the top of an entry:

  • Click on Back to top at the bottom of the entry
  • Use the Page Up and Page Down keys
  • Use the scroll bar to scroll back to the top

Printing an entry

To print the current entry, click Print. The entry is printed out in full regardless of the display options chosen on screen.

Saving an entry

To save the current entry, click Save and follow the instructions given.

To send an email link to the current entry or search results list to someone else (regardless of whether they have an OED Online subscription), click Email. Fill in the details as appropriate. The email will contain a link to the current entry/results list only, which will be valid for the next three days.

Citing an entry

Click Cite to display a page containing a citation to the current entry in two common formats: MLA and Chicago. The citations can be cut and pasted directly into academic work.

This page also contains some links to tools enabling you to export citations to personal citation management packages in the following formats: EndNote, ProCite, ReferenceManager, and RefWorks.

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The entry display