Not sure what the implications for our site will be, but it seems relevant news that Lexico (formerly "Oxford Living Dictionaries", formerly "Oxford Dictionaries Online") is closing August 26.

Thank you for visiting Lexico.com, but we do have some important news. Starting August 26, we will be closing the Lexico.com website and redirecting it to Dictionary.com

Anyone with further information or ability to interpret what this means, please discuss.

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    Frustratingly (and ironically) if you google "why is Lexico closing“ all the results will show the definitions of words derived from close; e.g. closure, early closing, closing down, closing time etc.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 14, 2022 at 7:16
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    It’s never been my favorite dictionary. R.I.P. Lexico.
    – user 66974
    Aug 18, 2022 at 14:26
  • Was Lexico ever a common choice for a reference link here on ELU? (and is that the true question you're asking, what do we do with old broken lexico links?).
    – Mitch
    Aug 19, 2022 at 14:17
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    I cited it in answering most of the few questions I've answered, and someone else did on one of the others. Wayback Machine has some of its entries, but seemingly not most (yet).
    – user570286
    Aug 20, 2022 at 2:00
  • "what the implications for our site will be" - can you be more specific about what you want? Are you asking if there is another site that can be suggested to replace Lexico in general for reference definitions? Or do you want some sort of auto-editing to replace mentions of the Lexico URL? Or are you just curious about what the various other on-line dictionaries there are? Or something else, like what corporate shenanigans are behind the news?
    – Mitch
    Aug 22, 2022 at 16:56
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    @Mitch the OP asks at the end Anyone with further information or ability to interpret what this means, please discuss. They know as much as I do or you. I took this post as to be a public announcement, a way of forewarning users to be wary of relying on Lexico because it's going to get shut down. I am interested in knowing what will happen with the links. Will they be broken-doubtful-or will users be redirected to a Dictionary.com entry? We'll find out for sure tomorrow–can't wait! (ironic glee)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 25, 2022 at 11:57
  • @Mari-LouA That's the same as what I thought but the current answer don't seem to answer that way, so I was hoping the OP would clarify. The current answers seem to just answer where a person can go instead of lexico, whereas you and I want to know (and maybe the OP?) what the site (and mods etc) should do about it.
    – Mitch
    Aug 25, 2022 at 12:52
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    Lexico was definitely my favorite dictionary. No bloat, good typography, wide coverage of meanings... But its unique feature was the abundance and quality of usage examples. Actually, I have not found any alternative to this dictionary. Does anyone know of a free dictionary that provides at least three high-quality, nonartificial usage examples for the majority of definitions? Aug 26, 2022 at 3:21
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    @Mari-LouA: “I am interested in knowing what will happen with the links. Will they be broken-doubtful-or will users be redirected to a Dictionary.com entry?” — it seems that the links to lexico.com are totally, absolutely broken, e.g. Answer #568543. The only hope is that the Wayback Machine has archived copies. Aug 26, 2022 at 4:25
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    Oh, for f***'s sake! I mean, how totally idiotic. Every single Lexico link is redirected to the home page of Dicktionary.com, complete with its garish ads and crossword puzzles. Yuk!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 26, 2022 at 5:43
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    @lyricallywickedly I too liked Lexico for its abundance of sentence examples, and audio samples. A great resource for English learners and for anyone wishing to maintain their level of English. An inscription to OED... costs a fortune, and it's only for one year. Madness.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 26, 2022 at 5:56
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    By the way, Lexico is currently the first dictionary mentioned in the list of general-purpose dictionaries at English.Meta... Aug 26, 2022 at 6:39
  • Click on my first link above, and this question is among the first results. Fame!
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 27, 2022 at 14:14

2 Answers 2


It doesn't say, and it's unlikely, that the ODE (Oxford Dictionary of English) and NOAD (New Oxford American Dictionary) will be available on Dictionary.com, so it looks like we're losing gratis access to those dictionaries. Most (but not all) pronunciation transcriptions are available for free on Oxford Reference OED*, but not definitions or etymology. OALD appears to continue to be available.

UPDATE: Pronunciations appear to have been removed from the gratis parts of Oxford Reference, but are now available on the OED since the July 2023 revamp of the site.

Google often gives you the same definitions via Oxford Dictionaries API, but this obviously varies by each user's location, search history, etc. OUP also closed gratis online bilingual dictionaries of underrepresented languages in 2020, when it said:

As part of the evolution of the Oxford Global Languages (OGL) programme, we have made the decision to close our dictionary websites. This content will still be available, but the formats in which it can be accessed have now changed.

Rather than offering a dictionary website for every digitally under-resourced language, we will facilitate third parties to build products and services that best serve the needs of each individual language community. Our efforts will be focused on creating and providing the data that these third parties need.

So they're saying "there's no money in offering access to our dictionaries for free, so we're going after enterprises", and the closure of Lexico seems like a step in the same direction.


Dictionary.com uses two main sources:


© WILLIAM COLLINS SONS & CO. LTD. 1979, 1986 © HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

So it is basically similar to Google as an aggregator. Provided that quotes from that site here actually reference the ultimate source of the definition, I don't see a problem.

Random House publish Penguin, but I can't find any mention of any English dictionary on either website. Collins publishes a number of dictionaries, and more than one is available on its own website.

Just as with "I found this definition on Google," which is unacceptable because it doesn't give credit to the people who actually did the work defining the word, "I found this definition on Dictionary.com" won't be acceptable either. The actual source needs to be cited: "provide the name of the original author".

OED continues to be available to those who have access.

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