250 years ago, on 15 April 1775, the first comprehensive English dictionary was published in England – “The Dictionary of the English Language”, written by Samuel Johnson.
Though several English dictionaries already existed in the 18th century, they were not detailled enough to be deemed a guideline for using the English language correctly. Therefore, in 1746, Samuel Johnson was contracted to prepare such a work.
Johnson spent nearly nine years writing his dictionary. The completed work contained approx. 40,000 entries, which Johnson explained by definitions and literary quotations. Samuel Johnson’s dictionary influenced other authors of English dictionaries and was considered standard until the Oxford English Dictioary was published in 1884.