As you are probably aware, our contemporary English content is now available through Lexico.com (https://www.lexico.com/en), and our old English dictionary site no longer exists.

As a result of this, this forum will be closed by 6th September.
We have already disabled new threads, but comments can still be posted on existing discussions to give a chance for outstanding questions to be answered.

The English dictionary community team would like the opportunity to say a huge thanks to all of you who have participated by posting questions and helping other community members.
We hope this forum has been useful, and that you have enjoyed being a part of it.

If you would like to get in touch with any OED-related queries, please write to
[email protected]

And if you would like to contribute suggestions to the OED, please do so by visiting: https://public.oed.com/contribute-to-the-oed/

Thank you very much indeed, and good bye!
The community team

Average number of definitions per entry?

Does anyone happen to know the approximate number of entries in the current OED (say, 600,000) and the approximate number of definitions (say, 2.5 million).

I want to use these two statistics to estimate the average number of definitions per entry, in this example, 4.

Thx.

Answers

  • Hi @PJ2018

    There are 283,000 entries and 860,000 meanings currently in the OED.

    This gives a mean average of just over 3 meanings per entry. However, mean average can be a very misleading measure here: there’s a power-law distribution which means that a small number of entries have a very large number of meanings, while 170,000 entries (60%) have only a single meaning.

    I hope this helps.

Sign In or Register to comment.