Use this guide to perform background research to refine a research topic, confirm terminology, and get a general understanding before finding books and articles to support a research project.
Search or browse across nine subject encyclopedias and dictionaries with over 120,000 entries. References are linked via Get VText.
Browse or search over 600,000 words showing meanings, history, and pronunciations from across the English-speaking world. As a historical dictionary, the OED is very different from those of current English, in which the focus is on present-day meanings. You'll still find these in the OED, but you'll also find the history of individual words, and of the language—traced through 3 million quotations, from classic literature and specialist periodicals to films scripts and cookery books. You can also explore a timeline of when words entered the English language and the many works that have act as sources for the OED.