The Oxford English Dictionary: 20 Volume Set


Product Details

Clarendon Press
Publish Date
40.0 X 48.0 X 19.0 inches | 177.0 pounds
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About the Author

J. A. Simpson worked on the Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary and prepared the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, which was published in 1982. E. S. C. Weiner also served on the editorial staff of the Supplement and compiled the Oxford Guide to English Usage, which was published in 1983.


"Being the most expansive and exhaustive not to mention the most fun of all English dictionaries, its the finest testament I know to everything I love (and, all right, occasionally hate) about words."--Michael Cunningham (celebrated author of The Hours)

"Word lovers, the gods are smiling upon you. It no longer takes a small mortgage, or at least a trip to the library, to plumb the Oxford English Dictionary--the big one, not the abridged training-wheels versions. For its 75th anniversary since the last volume of the First Edition was published, Oxford University Press has knocked down the prices big time."--Chicago Sun-Times

"With its exhaustive definitions and precise etymology, the Oxford English Dictionary is absolutely indispensable to our work here at Jeopardy!"--Gary Johnson, Jeopardy! Supervising Producer/Writer

"The richest people in the world are those who have the OED on their shelves. Here is the greatest treasure of words waiting to be assembled into fiery tracts and rants, literary novels, histories, sagas, comic poems, exposes, polemics, tall tales and learned treatises, kids' books, advert copy, reports on busted dams and declarations, all the expressions of a hundred different cultures. And the sturdy boxes in which the dictionary comes are each the perfect size for a manuscript. So there it is, all the raw material a writer needs for a lifetime of work."--Annie Proulx

"Since my Milton teacher sent me to the OED at the start of my college career, that vast and virtuous monument has been an almost daily companion. It's far the most important of my reference aids; and of all things for a dictionary, it's proved likewise a steady source of surprise and delight."--Reynolds Price

"When I first got the OED I read it through from A to Z. I wondered which word had the greatest coverage, and in Volume VIII (Q-Sh), I found it: 'set.' More than a hundred and twenty meanings were given for the verb 'set' used alone; another thirty or so when used in conjunction with various prepositions and adverbs (set aside, set about, set apart, etc.). I got the feeling that this little three-letter word might be the most useful and versatile in the entire English language."--Oliver Sacks

"The OED has been to me a teacher, a companion, a source of endless discovery. I could not have become a writer without it. "--Anthony Burgess

"No similar work, not even the great Lexicon of the brothers Grimm, is comparable to [the OED] in magnitude, accuracy, or completeness. It is one of the monuments to the patient persistence of scholarship and one of the most sterling illustrations of that strange piety which only scholars can understand."--The Nation

"No one who reads or writes seriously can be without the OED."--The Washington Post

"In all probability, the greatest continuing work of scholarship that this century has produced."--Newsweek

"It is a remarkable work of scholarship, and must rank high among the wonders of the world of learning."--The Times Educational Supplement