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Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition
On-line Version

A fully searchable version of the OED, 2nd edition (1989), available to Yale University affiliates via the World Wide Web. Includes definition and etymology searches, quotation searches, proximity searches, as well as boolean searching.

The OED On-line is available from any networked computer with a Yale IP address from the OED information page. A CD-ROM version of the OED, 2nd Edition is also available. A comparison of the on-line and CD-ROM versions of the OED 2nd Edition is also available.

To Search
There are five different ways to search: Quick Lookup, Basic, Quotation, Boolean, and Proximity searches. Each of their functions and searching protocols are explained and available below.

Quick Lookup
This is the easiest way to search. Simply type the word for which you are looking in the text box and press return. Use this type of search if you are confident about the spelling of your word.

Basic Searching
The Basic Searching page offers a number of options, including Lookup, Browse Entries, Entire Entry, Definition, Etymology, Quotation, Earliest Quotation, or Label. An explanation of each of these terms is available online by clicking on the link to the right of the selection box. Type the string in the text box, select the field in which to search, and click on search.

Quotation Searching
This search method allows you to search for an author, work, date, text, or general quotation, to see where that author, work, etc. is used in OED entries. Type the search string in the text box, and select the field to search.

Boolean Searching
This is perhaps the most powerful search protocol. It allows you to combine several search terms with Boolean operators (and, or, and not). You can search the Headword, Definition, Quotation, Etymology, and/or Label. To search, type your search terms in the text boxes, and select the area searched for each of them and the Boolean operator, and click Search.

Proximity Searching
Proximity searching allows you to specify the proximity of terms within terms, relative to one another. Type in each of your terms, and select the distance (40, 80, or 120 characters), and whether the strings are to be near, following, not near, or not following. Click Search when finished.

To Modify Your Search
Press the Back button at the upper-left corner of Netscape until you reach the search screen, then change your search as needed.

To Start a New Search
Press the Clear button on the search screen.

To Print Your Results or Save Them to Disk
Use the printing or saving features available in your browser.

For more information
Consult the user manual.

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