In my language, there's a dictionary that for each word not only defines it, but gives multiple examples of usage from actual newspapers, books, etc. The best thing about it, is that it usually provides one of the earliest examples of the word, which is sometimes back in the 16th century. Then the rest of the examples are spread out over time, so that you can see how the usage has changed, and you can immediately tell at a glance how old any given word is.

For example, the word "sommar" (summer) is listed as this:dictionary entry

Is there anything that resembles this for English? Paid or otherwise.

  • Just curious, what dictionary is that?
    – Laurel Mod
    Jul 2, 2022 at 13:19
  • @Laurel Swedish dictionary called Svenska Akademiens Ordbok (saob.se)
    – Yeats
    Jul 2, 2022 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


The Oxford English Dictionary (not to be confused with other Oxford dictionaries). The second edition takes up 20 volumes in hardcover, and is available online at oed.com if you have a subscription.

  • 2
    Your academic library may have a subscription.
    – GEdgar
    Jul 2, 2022 at 14:26
  • 2
    In the UK, local authority libraries usually have a subscription for members.
    – Greybeard
    Jul 2, 2022 at 15:53
  • Many private parties have copies, too, because the Book-of-the-Month Club used to give them away as a subscription bonus. I used to give a class where all the students had to join the club to get the book, but they gave it up a few years later. Still, there are used copies available. Jul 4, 2022 at 22:23

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