According to an article from Telegraph.co.uk, it is not likely that a full edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) will be printed again. The second version of OED was published in 1989 across 20 volumes but has also been available online via subscription for many years. Currently, it receives about two million visits per month from subscribers. The third version is still a decade away from completion and will likely only appear online at that point.
Nigel Portwood, the chief executive of Oxford University Press, commented, “The print dictionary market is just disappearing, it is falling away by tens of percent a year.”
Simon Winchester, author of ‘The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary’ added, “The printed book is about to vanish at extraordinary speed. I have two complete OEDs, but never consult them – I use the online OED five or six times daily. The same with many of my reference books – and soon with most.”
Oxford University Press, owner of the dictionary, said that it will still continue to print the Oxford Dictionary of English which is sold in bookstores.