Don't know when this happened, but Oxford Living Dictionaries is no more. It is now called Lexico (powered by Oxford) whatever that means…

Tsk! You'd think they'd have the decency to consult us before changing the name of their online dictionary… again (rolls eyes). Now what do we do?

All those citations, attributions, acronyms: EOD, OED, OD, OLD, ODO, OMG do we have to change them all? Arggghh! Visit any post that bears a direct link to Oxford Dictionaries (online) and the name Lexico will now pop up.

Oh, and it's changed colour too. It's now green.

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    The end is at hand... "Lexico.com is a collaboration between Dictionary.com and Oxford University Press"
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Jun 11, 2019 at 20:34
  • 2
    @AndrewLeach we can't call it Oxford Dictionaries any more. We'll have to call it Lexico from now on.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 11, 2019 at 20:43
  • 4
    I don’t see it as a major problem, as long as the links remain active. Online dictionaries are going to evolve and change quicker than old paper versions did.
    – user 66974
    Jun 11, 2019 at 20:46
  • @user240918 I'm not panicking, I just thought it might surprise the old regulars, Anyway, Oxford seem to tweak/change the name of their online dictionary every three or four years while Merriam-Webster, Collins, and Cambridge among many others have kept the same name. What's up with OUP?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 11, 2019 at 20:51
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    Welcome to Oxford Dictionaries: OUR ENGLISH AND SPANISH DICTIONARIES HAVE NOW MOVED TO LEXICO.COM. languages.oup.com - Lexico is the new domain for our free dictionary content, hosted by Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com is licensing the content from our English and Spanish Oxford Dictionaries sites (lexical content, non-lexical content, and blog content) and using it to develop and build a new consumer website, freely available around the world, as a separate site to dictionary.com.
    – user 66974
    Jun 11, 2019 at 21:03
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    @Andrew Leach But good news. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) - the leading authority on the English Language worldwide - is very much alive and well. You, and other contributors to the site, may be interested in the film which has just been released The Professor and the Madman. It is based on the book The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester about the OED beginnings. Professor Sir James Murray in 1857 had begun the compilation of the dictionary when he received 10,000 entries from Dr W.C.Minor, murderer and madman, resident of what was then known as Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum.
    – WS2
    Jun 11, 2019 at 22:01
  • Things like this are why I'm insistent on citing the way I do. I've been scorn by the University of Chicago's A.R.T.F.L. project and to a lesser extent Dicfro, but at least since I referenced book names my citations are just as good as they were when I made them. At least Oxford had the courtesy to redirect the links for us. This would have been a complete disaster if the links were dead. It might be time for some of you to switch to The American Heritage Dictionary. It's not likely to change names anytime soon, and it is still in print if it ever does go offline.
    – Tonepoet
    Jun 11, 2019 at 23:35
  • @WS2 Oxford dictionaries was bought a S.F company Ask.com, the Web search …, has closed an all-cash deal to acquire Lexico Publishing Group LLC, the owner of popular reference sites Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com. Personally, I would rein in my enthusiasm for the OED's future.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 12, 2019 at 10:22
  • @AndrewLeach there's definitely no "collaboration", OD formerly OLD, formerly AO, has been bought up by Ask.com
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 12, 2019 at 10:31
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    @Mari-LouA There's no evidence of that in your link. The line I quoted comes from the "About" page of Lexico. Frankly I can't see OUP selling off any of its research or allowing its name to be used without maintaining some sort of control over the content. However the lack of exclusive control is a more than a little concerning.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Jun 12, 2019 at 12:31
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    Oxforddictionaries.com is apparently still owned by OUP. Lexico is not. Lexico is using OUP content, presumably under licence ("Powered by Oxford"). OUP no longer have to run a website, Lexico do that, so OUP can concentrate on content. The fly in the ointment is that Lexico can decide to serve other content but while Oxford's domain points to where their content is, it might not be too bad.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Jun 12, 2019 at 17:32
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    I hesitated to use Lexico as a source today because writing out the name felt like a typo. That's not too snooty, is it? Jun 12, 2019 at 20:24
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    OED.com is the real English dictionary website, and it's still there.It's a paid subscription service, not supported by advertising, and it focuses on history and etymology over the latest trends.
    – barbecue
    Jun 14, 2019 at 17:45
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    @barbecue Oxford Dictionaries Online was also real. Oxford University Press publishes many dictionaries, especially for learners, that are in paperback. The OED is the granddaddy, so to speak, and the most esteemed.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 14, 2019 at 17:53
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    @Mari-LouA I wasn't implying that the oxford dictionaries were fake. My point was that as long as the OED is around, we have nothing to worry about.
    – barbecue
    Jun 14, 2019 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


Mehhhhhhh, the name change isn't worth doing mass edits over. Nor is the change in URL, since you can click on most old URLs and be taken to the right page on the new site. There are many thousands of posts that link to oxforddictionaries.com (more specifically ~11k) and most of these links are still good and don't really need editing, since they just redirect to the current lexico.com site. Most.

For non-critical issues like this, I fix them when I fix other issues on the same page, or if the question is already bumped and on the home page.

Some links have been broken by this change, which is a more critical issue, so it might be a good idea to do some active editing, as long as we don't flood the home page. Right now, I see that the change has broken many (almost all?) of the blog links. I don't know if they're planning on reposting these articles on the new site, so I'm preparing for the worst. Not all of these URLs were saved in either of the archiving services I know of, so I've been saving Google's cached version of the page into Archive.org (the cached page is most easily found by searching Archive.is). Unfortunately saving any URLs that have not been backed up needs to be done as soon as possible, since Google caches don't last forever :/ (Yes, my method is complicated, but I do it this way for a reason.)

And then there are some links to the regular dictionary entries that were broken a while ago by a different URL change, which can be found here. Plus, some URLs were also broken when another one of Oxford's dictionaries (the OALD) changed URLs; a list of posts affected by this can be found here. While I'm on the subject, I'll also note that there are old broken Google NGrams links/images in these posts. I've been fixing these every now and then for a while.

With the new Lexico site, another thing I noticed is that there is now only one dictionary instead of two ("Dictionary" and "Dictionary (US)", switched via the dropdown at the top of the page). This really isn't as much of a loss as it sounds, since both dictionaries were very close in content (see links above). Therefore I would consider this another non-critical issue for most posts.

There are also a couple of questions about dictionaries, especially here on meta, that could use updating (even if the links aren't technically broken) such as:

  • As far as I can tell, while the site name may have changed, the content presented still originates from Oxford. Currently, unless I see some evidence to the contrary, I'm going to continue to cite word definitions I quote as coming from Oxford Dictionaries despite the differing name. The name change, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't change anything about the underlying origin—it simply adds some confusion. (And, personally, I'm incredibly annoyed by it. It seems like a terrible way for Oxford to maintain their brand awareness.) Jun 14, 2019 at 14:56
  • Or maybe I should change my attributions to from Oxford Dictionaries (at Lexico) in order to cover the possibility that Lexico does modify a definition in some way so it no longer accurately represents Oxford? Jun 14, 2019 at 15:02
  • @JasonBassford Your citations should represent the sources you actually checked: Cite Lexico from now until the website changes its name again, but keep your old citations to Oxford Living Dictionaries or O.D.O. as they are.
    – Tonepoet
    Jun 15, 2019 at 14:50
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    @Tonepoet When quoting from an article at a website, I always use "[Article Name]" from [Site]—and try to also add the author's name if it's given. I feel that simply saying Lexico is misleading. That's not the dictionary that the definition comes from. So, I will at least say Oxford Dictionaries (at Lexico), or some rephrased version of that. Because I can't just say Lexico and suspect that anybody unaware of this change will think I'm citing any kind of authoritarian source. Jun 15, 2019 at 15:31
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    I have a bot whose main task is to repair broken images, but it has evolved to repair certain kinds of broken links as well. It works as long as I teach it the substitution rules, or if the original URL is archived in the Wayback Machine. It can limit the amount of questions it edits per day, so that the frontpage doesn't get flooded with bumps.
    – Glorfindel
    Jun 24, 2019 at 19:21

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