Welcome to Johnson’s Dictionary Online

Today, on the 266th anniversary of the 1755 publication of Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language, we are proud to make available this complete, searchable, online edition of Johnson’s groundbreaking work. 

We currently provide three ways for you to search:

  1. You can browse full-page facsimile images, leafing through them like a book
  2. You can retrieve words at random, as often as you like
  3. You can search for a particular word or name within the dictionary

What you see now is just the beginning! We are actively working behind the scenes to create

  • Improved search functions
  • Facsimile images of every entry displayed alongside the transcription
  • Transcriptions of Johnson’s Preface, History of the English Language, Grammar of the English Tongue
  • User accounts (so you can save your searches)
  • Additional information about Samuel Johnson and his dictionary
  • Complete fourth (1773) folio edition
  • API to provide greater accessibility and enable interaction with other online resources

Please check back often to see what is new.

Johnson’s Dictionary Online was made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. 

Many thanks also to the Center for Humanities and Digital Research and the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Central Florida, Lexicons of Early Modern English (LEME) at the University of Toronto, the Warren N. and Suzanne B. Cordell Collection of Dictionaries at Indiana State University, and the Digital Support Services Team at the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries. Also thanks to Brandi Besalke, who created the original project that our site reimagines, and to the many students and volunteer researchers working with us. 

A brief word about the site infrastructure: We marked transcribed dictionary entries in XML-TEI. We use Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP and JavaScript for web site logistics and display; and we use an eXist database to store XML and create searches. Custom-designed software is helping us to create entry-level facsimile images and (soon) to research the sources of Johnson’s illustrative quotations.

What brought you to Johnson’s Dictionary Online? Please let us know by sending an email message to info@johnsonsdictionaryonline.org