It's fairly common knowledge that OED lists senses of a given headword in the chronological order research has found printed evidence for: it is a historical dictionary.

Equally conveniently, the order adopted by (I'd say most of the) other respected English dictionaries is frequency of use [as found by surveys].

However, Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fifth Edition [2014] contains, for instance,


  • (1) RARE deathly pale; wan
  • (2) glowing through a haze, as flames enveloped by smoke
  • (3) • (a) vivid in a harsh or shocking way; startling; sensational

    • (b) characterized by violent passion or crime: a lurid tale

I assume that this dictionary is also historical.

Is there a resource (article?) showing which English dictionaries are historical, which arrange senses in the order they deem reflects frequency of usage, and any other types?



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