Concise Oxford Dictionary

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This is a bibliography page, concerning a work to which reference is made elsewhere in this guide.


The Concise Oxford Dictionary is one of the family of dictionaries published by the Oxford University Press. It is based to a large extent on OED. It is now known as [the] Concise Oxford English Dictionary; until 2002 it was The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English. It has always been abbreviated in academic writing as COD. Its editing history is complex.

  • First Edition (1911): The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, adapted by H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler ... from the Oxford Dictionary. (They wrote the last section S–Z before the Oxford English Dictionary had reached that stage.)
  • Second Edition (1929): The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English H. W. Fowler alone (his brother had died in 1918), although his name is still on the title page).
  • Third Edition: (1934) was revised by H. W. Fowler and H. G. Le Mesurier.
  • Fourth (1951) and Fifth (1964) Editions were revised by E. McIntosh, who introduced the space-saving swung dash that stands for the headword. The title page still read The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English; but the description read 'edited by H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler; based on the Oxford dictionary'.
  • Sixth (1976) and Seventh (1982) Editions were still called The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, but the subtitle now read based on the Oxford English dictionary and its supplements first edited by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler. It was (thoroughly) edited by J.B. Sykes, catching up with the developments in the parent dictionary. In the Seventh Edition, symbols were introduced to mark uses considered controversial or offensive.
  • Eighth Edition (1990: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, first edited by H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler was edited by Robert E. Allen. Being computer-based, this edition changed the original structure to a large extent.
  • Ninth Edition (1995)was edited by Della Thompson.
  • Tenth Edition (1999, revised 2001) became The Concise Oxford Dictionary. It was edited by Judy Pearsall. Rather than being a direct revision of the ninth edition, it was based on the larger New Oxford Dictionary of English (1998), which Pearsall had edited using the British National Corpus. The tenth edition was also issued as an electronic resource, as a computer optical disc.
  • Eleventh Edition (2004, revised 2006), the Concise Oxford English Dictionary was edited by Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson. It is based on the Oxford Dictionary of English (second edition (2003), which Soanes and Stevenson had edited). The Eleventh Edition is available as an electronic e-Book for a variety of platforms.