Last updated

Lexico logo.svg
Type of site
Available in
  • English
  • Spanish
Dissolved 26 August 2022;2 months ago (2022-08-26)
Owner Dictionary.com
Created by Oxford University Press
URL www.lexico.com
(redirects to www.dictionary.com )
LaunchedJune 2019;3 years ago (2019-06)
Current statusOffline

Lexico was a dictionary website that provided 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 came from OUP, this website was operated by Dictionary.com, whose eponymous website hosts dictionaries by other publishers such as Random House. The website was closed and redirected to Dictionary.com on 26 August 2022.


Before the Lexico site was launched, the Oxford Dictionary of English and New Oxford American Dictionary were hosted by OUP's own website Oxford Dictionaries Online (ODO), later known as Oxford Living Dictionaries. The dictionaries' definitions have also appeared in Google definition search and the Dictionary application on macOS, among others, licensed through the Oxford Dictionaries API. [1] [2]


In the 2000s, OUP allowed access to content of the Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English on a website called AskOxford.com. [3] In 2010, Oxford Dictionaries Online was launched under oxforddictionaries.com, [4] superseding the dictionary content of AskOxford.com. Buyers of the third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English , also published in 2010, were granted a one-year subscription to the website's subscription content. [5] 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. [6] As of June 2014, it was updated every three months. [7]

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. [8] In 2016, the free content of Oxford Dictionaries Online was rebranded as Oxford Living Dictionaries, and the subscription content as Oxford Dictionaries Premium. [9]

In June 2019, the free-of-charge dictionaries of English and Spanish were moved to Lexico.com, a collaboration between OUP and Dictionary.com, 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, [10] [11] the US dictionary became fully available again on Lexico in early 2020. [12] "Lexico" was itself part of the former name of the company Dictionary.com, Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. [13]

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." [14] 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. [15]

On 26 August 2022, Lexico was closed and redirected to Dictionary.com. [16] Oxford Dictionaries Premium was still available. [17]

Comparison with the Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a subscription service, while Lexico used the Oxford Dictionaries API [18] to offer more modern versions of the Oxford Dictionary of English and New Oxford American Dictionary to users for free. The OED described its difference from Oxford Dictionaries, the predecessor to Lexico, as follows:

The dictionary content in Oxford Dictionaries 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 ... [19]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">British English</span> Dialect of English spoken and written in the United Kingdom

British English (BrE) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, "English as used in Great Britain, as distinct from that used elsewhere". More narrowly, it can refer specifically to the English language in England, or, more broadly, to the collective dialects of English throughout the British Isles taken as a single umbrella variety, for instance additionally incorporating Scottish English, Welsh English, and Northern Irish English. Tom McArthur in the Oxford Guide to World English acknowledges that British English shares "all the ambiguities and tensions [with] the word 'British' and as a result can be used and interpreted in two ways, more broadly or more narrowly, within a range of blurring and ambiguity".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Northern Sotho language</span> Sotho-Tswana language spoken in South Africa

Northern Sotho, or Sesotho sa Leboa as an endonym, is a Sotho-Tswana language spoken in the northeastern provinces of South Africa. It is sometimes referred to as Sepedi or Pedi, its main dialect, through synecdoche.

<i>New Oxford American Dictionary</i> Collection of American English words and their meanings

The New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD) is a single-volume dictionary of American English compiled by American editors at the Oxford University Press.

<i>Oxford English Dictionary</i> Historical dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bocage</span> Terrain of mixed woodland and pasture

Bocage is a terrain of mixed woodland and pasture characteristic of parts of Northern France, Southern England, Ireland, the Netherlands and Northern Germany, in regions where pastoral farming is the dominant land use.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Murray (lexicographer)</span> Primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary

Sir James Augustus Henry Murray, FBA was a Scottish lexicographer and philologist. He was the primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) from 1879 until his death.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">American and British English spelling differences</span> Comparison between US and UK English spelling

Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English orthography, the two most notable variations being British and American spelling. Many of the differences between American and British English date back to a time before spelling standards were developed. For instance, some spellings seen as "American" today were once commonly used in Britain, and some spellings seen as "British" were once commonly used in the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Electronic dictionary</span> Dictionary whose data exists in digital form and can be accessed through a number of different media

An electronic dictionary is a dictionary whose data exists in digital form and can be accessed through a number of different media. Electronic dictionaries can be found in several forms, including software installed on tablet or desktop computers, mobile apps, web applications, and as a built-in function of E-readers. They may be free or require payment.

Oxford spelling is a spelling standard, named after its use by the University of Oxford, that prescribes the use of British spelling in combination with the suffix -ize in words like realize and organization, in contrast to use of -ise endings.

Irregardless is a word sometimes used in place of regardless or irrespective, which has caused controversy since the early twentieth century, though the word appeared in print as early as 1795.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hello</span> Salutation or greeting

Hello is a salutation or greeting in the English language. It is first attested in writing from 1826.

Peter Gilliver is a lexicographer and associate editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

A portmanteau word, or portmanteau is a blend of words in which parts of multiple words are combined into a new word, as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is a single morph that is analyzed as representing two underlying morphemes. When portmanteaus shorten established compounds, they can be considered clipped compounds.

"Twat" is an English-language vulgarism which means the vulva or vagina, and is used figuratively as a derogatory epithet. In British English, it is a common insult referring to an obnoxious or stupid person regardless of gender; in American English, it is rarer and usually used to insult a woman. In Britain, the usual pronunciation rhymes with "hat", while Americans most often use the older pronunciation that rhymes with "squat". This is reflected in the former variant spelling of "twot".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Google Dictionary</span> Online dictionary service by Google

Google Dictionary is an online dictionary service of Google that can be accessed with the "define" operator and other similar phrases in Google Search. It is also available in Google Translate and in the form of an extension for Google Chrome. The dictionary content is licensed from Oxford University Press's OxfordDictionaries.com. It is available in different languages such as English, Spanish and French. The service also contains pronunciation audio, Google Translate, word origin chart, Ngram Viewer, and word games among other features for the English-language version. Originally available as a standalone service it was integrated into Google Search with the separate service being discontinued in August 2011.

<i>Oxford Dictionary of English</i> Single-volume completely new dictionary first published in 1998

The Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE) is a single-volume English dictionary published by Oxford University Press, first published in 1998 as The New Oxford Dictionary of English (NODE). The word "new" was dropped from the title with the Second Edition in 2003. This dictionary is not based on the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and should not be mistaken for a new or updated version of the OED. It is a completely new dictionary which strives to represent as faithfully as possible the current usage of English words. The Revised Second Edition contains 355,000 words, phrases, and definitions, including biographical references and thousands of encyclopaedic entries. The Third Edition was published in August 2010, with some new words, including "vuvuzela".


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  3. "AskOxford.com". Reference & User Services Quarterly. 44 (1): 40. 2004. JSTOR   20864286.
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  5. ""Vuvuzela," "staycation" among 2,000 words added to Oxford Dictionary" . The Independent. 20 August 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2022. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
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  10. "Lexico.com FAQS". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 16 June 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  11. "About". Lexico. Archived from the original on 7 February 2020.
  12. "About". Lexico. Archived from the original on 17 February 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  13. "Amended and Restated Operating Agreement of Dictionary.com, LLC". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 17 July 2008. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
  14. "The latest news about Oxford Global Languages". Oxford Languages. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  15. "Our dictionaries". Oxford Languages. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 28 March 2020. Retrieved 30 March 2020.
  16. "Lexico". Archived from the original on 13 August 2022. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  17. "Welcome to Oxford Dictionaries Premium". Oxford Dictionaries Premium. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
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  19. "The OED and Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018.