The next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, the world’s most definitive work on the language, will never be printed because of the impact of the internet on book sales.
Sales of the third edition of the vast tome have fallen due to the increasing popularity of online alternatives, according to its publisher.
A team of 80 lexicographers has been working on the third edition of the OED – known as OED3 – for the past 21 years.
The dictionary’s owner, Oxford University Press (OUP), said the impact of the internet means OED3 will probably appear only in electronic form.
The most recent OED has existed online for more than a decade, where it receives two million hits a month from subscribers who pay an annual fee of £240.