Based on the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary, the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary contains an incredible one-third of the coverage of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Features include:

-Over 600 000 words, phrases, and definitions
-80 000 quotations illustrating words in use throughout the centuries
-85 000 audio pronunciations
-100 000 etymologies
-Pattern search and spelling suggestions
-Full Text Search and Random Word

No internet connection is required, and you can use the OS X Services feature to look up selected words in most programs.

What's New

Version 3.5

Fix for audio pronunciation issue

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5

5 Ratings

5 Ratings

Truly Bare Bone Interface and Dysfunctional


I currently have OED, Oxford American Dictionary, and Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, (in addition to many other well known well-thought of dictionaries) and in the past I used the SOED in print and in software form on my PC (I do advise to several non-English speaking countries' education departments on their resource acquisitions). I just installed the SOED on my iMac and played with it an hour or two on a request to evaluate it.

It is a bare bone interface and offers no possibility of adjusting font size, font color, or any other display or configurations. This is a s major handicap for a reference on any screen: you are denied changing the interface to your comfort — or utility — level. That takes it off from my list right away at any price. Even the least expensive reference apps do have that basic feature.

Second point to loudly complain about this Mac app is, it has a uniformly small font, ( I mean real small 8 or 6 point fonts) and click areas to move your cursor and click on them, and those areas are not sensitive (easily overlapping) and that causes many interjections such as "Da…n!" or the other popular release of exclamation you would use in situations like that!. I think the current marketer of this dictionary avoided spending any money to make suitable for Mac use (or any other use).

A Great Reference


I used to have the two volumes of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary when I was at University in London, but that wasn’t nearly as useful as this version, which is always right here in OS X's Dock. For the past year or two I’ve also had a copy (made by MobiSystems) on my iPad, which, beside being with me everywhere, has a nicer interface. But I still use this version more often, when I’m writing on my Mac. It is the content which is important, not the interface.

The description in the iOS App Store version also notes that the Shorter OED, while containing only one-third of the coverage of the full 20-volume OED, contains every English word in use from 1700 to the present, plus the vocabularies of older major authors. I use other dictionaries most of the time, but this dictionary is indispensable when you need additional clarification.

Really Great App :)

Mike Lieu

I hesitated for a moment after reading highly-agreed negative comments, but I decided to give it a try, and I love it :)
To change the font size, just open it, click on its menu “Shorter Oxford English Dictionary” at the upper left corner of the screen of your Mac/Notebook (next to the Apple icon) and choose “Preferences.” I don’t think there is any possibility to change its font color or any other configurations, but I think it’s pretty organized and neat even though I have OCD. The only thing I wish it includes would be American pronunciations. Well, it does its job. Perfectly, to be honest. I didn’t expect it to have Le Châtelier, but it does. This is just awesome :)


Antony Lewis
465.4 MB
Age Rating
Rated 12+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, or Drug Use or References
Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
Infrequent/Mild Medical/Treatment Information


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.