The Fifth Edition of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is a complete update of the most authoritative reference work for modern English. The text is based on the 20 volume Oxford English Dictionary and, in fact, the Shorter manages more than one third of the coverage of the OED in one tenth of the size. The Fifth Edition contains more than half a million definitions in its 3792 pages. Its innovative design makes this vast amount of information easy to consult, and especially makes the fascinating illustrative quotations identifiable in their surrounding text . This new edition incorporates a complete vocabulary update with over 3,500 new words and meanings, and many new illustrative quotations from modern authors. In total there are over 83,000 illustrative quotations from 7,000 authors. There is extensive coverage of scientific and technical English as well as English from around the world. The Dictionary is written on historical principles: entries show the historical development of words by listing meanings chronologically and giving datings for the first use of each sense. All major words used in English after 1700, as well as all the words in Shakespeare, Milton, Spenser's Faerie Queene, and the King James Bible, are included; many rare and obsolete words are also defined. For scholars and those with a serious interest in the English language, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary is an unrivalled resource for the study of the development and use of Modern English. Publication history: The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary was envisaged from the beginning as an abridgement of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). The first editor, William Little, was appointed in 1902. He worked on it until his death in 1922, after which the dictionary was completed by H. W. Fowler, Jessie Coulson, and C. T. Onions. The First Edition was published in 1933, in two volumes. The Second Edition (1936) contained about 3,000 revisions and additions. The Third Edition (1944) contained an appendix of addenda and corrigenda, and this edition was reprinted several times with corrections and additions, the most significant being in 1973, with enlarged addenda (now running to over 70 pages) and a major revision of all the etymologies. The New Shorter' was prepared under the editorship of Lesley Brown 1980 1993. It was the first complete revision of the dictionary, being in fact not so much an overhaul of the existing text as a reabridgement of the OED and its Supplements. The New Shorter also included much material not yet published by OED. This Fifth Edition is an update of the New Shorter with thousands of new words. The title has changed to the original 'Shorter Oxford English Dictionary' to emphasize the link between this 2 volume dictionary and the original 20 volume OED.