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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lexico logo.svg
Type of site
Available in
  • English
  • Spanish
Created byOxford University Press
LaunchedJune 2019; 2 years ago (2019-06)

Lexico is an online dictionary website that provides a collection of English and Spanish dictionaries produced by Oxford University Press (OUP), the publishing house of the University of Oxford. While the dictionary content on Lexico comes from OUP, this website is operated by, whose eponymous website hosts dictionaries by other publishers such as Random House.

Before this site was launched, the Oxford Dictionary of English and New Oxford American Dictionary were previously hosted by OUP's own website, Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO), later known as Oxford Living Dictionaries.


In the 2000s, OUP allowed access to content of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English on a website called[1] In 2010, Oxford Dictionaries Online was launched under,[2] superseding the dictionary content of Buyers of the third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English (published in 2010) were granted a one-year subscription to the website's subscription content.[3] The website's English dictionaries incorporated content of the Oxford Dictionary of English, New Oxford American Dictionary, Oxford Thesaurus of English, and Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus. It also provided a Spanish monolingual dictionary and bilingual dictionaries between English and several languages.[4]

In 2014, OUP launched Oxford Global Languages, an initiative to build lexical resources (bilingual dictionaries) of the world's languages, starting with Zulu and Northern Sotho online dictionaries released in 2015.[5] In 2016, the free content of Oxford Dictionaries Online was rebranded as Oxford Living Dictionaries, and the subscription content as Oxford Dictionaries Premium.[6]

In June 2019, the free-of-charge dictionaries of English and Spanish were moved to, a collaboration between OUP and, though with the lexicographic content continuing to be written solely by OUP staff. While the offer of the US English dictionary on Oxford Living Dictionaries was terminated upon the migration to Lexico except for words which the UK dictionary did not have entries for,[7][8] the US dictionary became fully available again on Lexico in early 2020.[9] "Lexico" was itself part of the former name of the company, Lexico Publishing Group, LLC.[10]

In March 2020, the remaining Oxford Living Dictionaries websites, which hosted dictionaries made in the Global Languages programme, were closed. A statement from OUP said, "Rather than offering a dictionary website for every digitally under-resourced language, we will facilitate third parties to build products and services that best serve the needs of each individual language community. Our efforts will be focused on creating and providing the data that these third parties need."[11] At the time of the closure, they hosted dictionaries of Zulu, Northern Sotho, Malay, Urdu, Tswana, Indonesian, Romanian, Latvian, Swahili, Hindi, Tamil, Gujarati, Tatar, Xhosa, Southern Quechua, Tajik, Tok Pisin, Turkmen, Telugu, and Greek.[12]

Lexico vs. Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary is a subscription service, while Lexico (for the monolingual English dictionary content) uses the Oxford Dictionaries API[13] (also used by Google's dictionary service, as well as the Dictionary software on macOS[14]) to offer more modern versions of the Oxford Dictionary of English and New Oxford American Dictionary to users for free. As per the Oxford English Dictionary:

The dictionary content in Oxford Dictionaries [sic] focuses on current English and includes modern meanings and uses of words. Where words have more than one meaning, the most important and common meanings in modern English are given first, and less common and more specialist or technical uses are listed below. The OED, on the other hand, is a historical dictionary and it forms a record of all the core words and meanings in English over more than 1,000 years, from Old English to the present day, and including many obsolete and historical terms. Meanings are ordered chronologically in the OED, according to when they were first recorded in English ...[15]


  1. ^ "". Reference & User Services Quarterly. 44 (1): 40. 2004. JSTOR 20864286.
  2. ^ "Oxford University Press Chooses PubFactory to Develop Oxford English Dictionary". PubFactory. 4 August 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  3. ^ ""Vuvuzela," "staycation" among 2,000 words added to Oxford Dictionary". The Independent. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Oxford Dictionaries content help". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Oxford Global Languages". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  6. ^ "Help". Oxford Living Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 25 September 2016.
  7. ^ " FAQS". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 16 June 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  8. ^ "About". Lexico. Archived from the original on 7 February 2020.
  9. ^ "About". Lexico. Archived from the original on 17 February 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  10. ^ "Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of, LLC". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 17 July 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  11. ^ "The latest news about Oxford Global Languages". Oxford Languages. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Our dictionaries". Oxford Languages. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 28 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  13. ^ "Oxford Dictionaries API". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  14. ^ Bell, Karissa (4 December 2015). "Why Siri showed a definition of b*tch that offended everyone". Mashable. Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  15. ^ "The OED and Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018.

External links

This page was last edited on 4 November 2021, at 12:26
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