How Many Words Does A Dictionary Contain?
Most paperback dictionaries contain about 50,000 words and the average home dictionary has about 100,000 words. The Webster’s Third International contains over 400,000 words. But the Oxford English Dictionary is a 12 – volume work which contains more than 5,000 words with not only their meaning, but their complete history as well.
The Oxford English Dictionary took 44 years to complete. Every year there are new words, and the new editions try to put as many of them as possible in the dictionary. English language has more than 800,000 words, including technical terms. No dictionary is big enough to contain all these words in a single edition.