The Most Popular Dictionary, Ranked

Choose the dictionary you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 14, 2024 06:49
Many people find themselves at a crossroads when choosing a dictionary, as each one offers a unique array of definitions, etymologies, and features that cater to different needs. A student might look for comprehensive examples and colloquial usage, while a professional may need advanced explanations and technical terminology. By assembling a list of the most popular dictionaries, based on public opinion, we assist users in making an informed decision tailored to their specific requirements. Ranking these dictionaries allows potential users to instantly see which options are favored by a large audience and why. Your participation by voting helps in shaping this list to reflect real user preferences and trends. As more people contribute their votes and opinions, the more accurately the list encapsulates widespread approval and trust in these essential resources.

What Is the Most Popular Dictionary?

  1. 1

    Oxford English Dictionary

    The authoritative resource on the English language, providing comprehensive definitions, etymology, and historical usage examples.
    • First Published: 1884
    • Entries: Over 600,000
  2. 2

    Cambridge Dictionary

    Combines traditional and new media English dictionary and grammar resources, popular among learners of English.
    • First Published: 1995
    • Features: British and American English
  3. 3

    Collins English Dictionary

    A comprehensive dictionary that prides itself on its language monitoring program, reflecting the latest changes in English.
    • First Published: 1979
    • Entries: Over 722,000
  4. 4

    Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

    Targets both native and non-native speakers with clear definitions and example sentences.
    • First Published: 1978
    • Special Features: 10,000 collocations
  5. 5

    Macmillan Dictionary

    Focuses on current English and practical usage, with a strong emphasis on language change and real-life examples.
    • First Published: 2002
    • Special Features: Red Words and Stars
  6. 6

    Webster's New World College Dictionary

    Known for its accessible and comprehensive coverage of American English, it's often used in newsrooms and classrooms.
    • First Published: 1953
    • Features: Clear and precise definitions
  7. 7

    Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

    A popular and respected American English dictionary, known for its clarity and comprehensive coverage.
    • First Published: 1831
    • Editions: 11th Edition
  8. 8

    Random House Webster's College Dictionary

    A comprehensive dictionary of American English, offering rich definitions and pronunciation guides.
    • First Published: 1988
    • Editions: Updated periodically
  9. 9

    Oxford Dictionary of English

    Focuses on modern English usage and contemporary meanings, with extensive coverage of phrases, idioms, and abbreviations.
    • First Published: 1998
    • Entries: Over 350,000
  10. 10

    American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

    Noted for its detailed etymologies and clear definitions, it's a favorite among writers and scholars.
    • First Published: 1969
    • Features: Usage Panel

Missing your favorite dictionary?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular dictionary. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or dictionary is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 120 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each dictionary once every 24 hours. The rank of each dictionary is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Dictionary

Oxford English Dictionary
Rank #1 for the most popular dictionary: Oxford English Dictionary (Source)
Dictionaries have been essential tools for centuries. They help people understand language, offering meanings, pronunciations, and usage. The most popular dictionary today has a long history. It started as a simple list of words and their meanings. Over time, it evolved to include more features and become more user-friendly.

Early dictionaries were basic. They listed words and definitions. Scholars and writers used them to understand texts. These early versions were small and focused on difficult or rare words. As literacy spread, the need for comprehensive dictionaries grew. They began to include more common words and became more detailed.

The rise of printing technology made dictionaries more accessible. Publishers could print more copies at lower costs. This allowed more people to own and use them. Dictionaries became household items. They were used in schools and homes across the world.

The most popular dictionary today is known for its thoroughness. It includes a vast number of words. Each entry provides definitions, pronunciations, and examples of usage. This helps users understand how to use words in different contexts. The dictionary also includes information on word origins. This helps users see how words have evolved over time.

Technology has changed how people use dictionaries. The most popular dictionary is now available online. This makes it easy to access from anywhere. Users can search for words quickly. They can also hear pronunciations and see usage examples. The online version is updated regularly. This ensures it stays current with language changes.

The dictionary's popularity is due to its reliability. It is known for its accuracy and comprehensiveness. Scholars, writers, and students trust it. It is a go-to resource for anyone who needs to understand language better.

The dictionary also adapts to changes in language. New words are added regularly. This reflects the evolving nature of language. It includes slang, technical terms, and words from different dialects. This makes it relevant to a wide audience.

The dictionary's editors play a crucial role. They research and verify each entry. Their work ensures the dictionary remains accurate and up-to-date. They use a range of sources, including literature, media, and academic texts. This helps them track how words are used in different contexts.

The most popular dictionary is more than a list of words. It is a reflection of culture and society. It shows how language changes over time. It captures new trends and ideas. This makes it a valuable resource for understanding not just words, but the world.

In summary, the most popular dictionary has a rich history. It has evolved from simple lists to comprehensive resources. Technology has made it more accessible and user-friendly. Its reliability and adaptability make it a trusted tool for many. It is an essential resource for anyone who wants to understand and use language effectively.

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