Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

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The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, often abbreviated to SOED, is a scaled-down version of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). It comprises two volumes rather than the twenty needed for the full second edition of the OED. The sixth edition was released in August 2007.

An abridgement of the complete work was contemplated from 1879, when the Oxford University Press took over from the Philological Society on what was then known as "A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles". However, no action was taken until 1902, when the work was begun by William Little, a fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He laboured until his demise in 1922, at which point he had completed "A" to "T" and "V". The remaining letters were completed by H.W. Fowler ("U", "X", "Y", and "Z") and Mrs. E.A. Coulson ("W") under the direction of Charles Talbut Onions, who succeeded Little as editor.

Onions wrote that SOED was "to present in miniature all the features of the principal work" and to be "a quintessence of those vast materials" in the complete OED.

The first edition was published in February 1933. It was reprinted in March and April of that year and again in 1934.

A second edition appeared in 1936, and was reprinted in 1939.

A third edition was published in 1944, reprinted in 1947, 1950, 1952, and, with an addendum of new entries, in...
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