Research guides

Dictionaries, Thesauri, and More

General Dictionaries

Jenkins has a small collection of general dictionaries, which are listed below. Edition and year information is also listed.

Tip: This guide focuses on materials available at Jenkins. Public libraries, like the Free Library of Philadelphia, and academic libraries often have a larger collection of dictionaries, thesauri, and other reference materials. Academic libraries may have access restrictions and we recommend contacting them before visiting for their most up-to-date policy information.

OED Online

Oxford English Dictionary

  • The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is the most comprehensive record of the English language in the world with more than 600,000 words. As a historical dictionary, the OED is very different from those of current English, in which the focus is on present-day meanings. You’ll still find these in the OED, but you’ll also find the history of individual words used for a particular concept or meaning over time.
  • The OED is updated quarterly.

General Dictionaries

The American Heritage College Dictionary Houghton Mifflin

  • Location: PE1628 .A437 1993 (Rare Books)
  • Note: Library has the 3rd (1993) edition.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language Houghton Mifflin

A Dictionary of Modern English Usage [Fowler's Modern English Usage] Oxford University Press

The Oxford English Dictionary Oxford University Press

  • Location: PE1625 .O8 1989 (Generl Collection; Rare Book)
  • Note: Library has the 2nd (1989) and the 1st (1888-1928) editions with no supplements.

The Penguin Dictionary for Writers and Editors Penguin Books

  • Location: PE1460 .B786 1994 (General Collection)
  • Note: Library has ©1994.

The Random House Dictionary of the English Language Random House

Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language G. & C. Merriam Co.

  • Location: PE1625 .W43 1954 (Rare Book)
  • Note: Library has 2nd (©1954) edition.

Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged World Pub. Co.

Webster's New World College Dictionary Macmillan

  • Location: PE1628 .W42 1997 (Rare Books)
  • Note: Library has 3rd (1997) edition.

Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Merriam-Webster

  • Location: PE1625 .W43 2002 (Reference; Rare Books)
  • Note: Library has ©2002, ©1993, and ©1965.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language RHR Press

  • Location: PE1625 .R194 2001 (General Collection)
  • Note: Library has ©2001.
  • Note: Based on the 2nd ed. of the Random House Dictionary of the English Language.

Historic Dictionaries (pre-1950)

A Dictionary of the English Language [Worcester's Dictionary] Hickling, Swan and Brewer

  • Location: AG5 .W67 1860 (Rare Books)
  • Note: Library has 1860 printing.

Johnson's English Dictionary Publisher varies

The New Century Dictionary of the English Language Century

  • Location: PE1625 .N4 1927 (Rare Books)
  • Note: Library has ©1927.

A New Dictionary of the English Language W. Pickering; W. Jackson

  • Location: PE1625 .R5 1839 (Rare Books)
  • Note: Library has 1839 printing.

A New Dictionary on Historical Principles Clarendon Press

  • Location: PE1625 .N48 1888 (Rare Books)
  • Note: The first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • Note: Library has the 2nd (1989) and the 1st (1888-1928) editions with no supplements.

Webster's Universal Dictionary of the English Language World Syndicate

  • Location: PE1628 .W43 1936 (Rare Books)
  • Note: Library has ©1936.
  • Note: "This dictionary is not published by the original publishers of Webster's dictionary or by their successors."

Internet Resources

Cambridge Dictionaries Online

  • Note: Includes British English Dictionaries, American English Dictionaries, and Bilingual Dictionaries.
  • Note: Cambridge Dictionaries Online is informed by the Cambridge English Corpus.
  • Note: Mobile apps for a variety of devices are available.

Dictionary.com

  • Note: Includes definitions, audio pronunciations, example sentences, and word origins for millions of words.
  • Note: Random House Unabridged Dictionary is the proprietary source for Dictionary.com and is updated by lexicographers and supplemented with content from sources like American Heritage and Harper Collins.
  • Note: Mobile apps for a variety of devices are available.

Merriam-Webster.com

  • Note: Includes dictionary, thesaurus, and more.
  • Note: The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary was originally based on the print version of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition and has been updated and expanded since.
  • Note: A Visual Dictionary is also available.
  • Note: Mobile apps for a variety of devices are available.