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It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world.
The second edition came to 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, published in 1989.
This influenced later volumes of this and other lexicographical works.
This allows the reader to get an approximate sense of the time period in which a particular word has been in use, and additional quotations help the reader to ascertain information about how the word is used in context, beyond any explanation that the dictionary editors can provide.
The format of the OED's entries has influenced numerous other historical lexicography projects.
The official dictionary of Spanish is the Diccionario de la lengua española (produced, edited, and published by the Real Academia Española), and its first edition was published in 1780.
The Kangxi dictionary of Chinese was published in 1716.