Sunday, 30 November 2014

Top 10 words with most OED entries? What do they have in common?

Set  is the word with the most (464) entries in the OED - and has been since 1928. 

Why set? 
The key is the word's versatility. Set can be used as a concrete verb e.g. set an alarm on a clock or an abstract one Mr Smith is set to take over as Prime Minister or an abstract noun a set of problems.

Phrasal verbs based on set (set out/set to/set off etc) are particularly challenging for English language learners - see here.

And the full top 10?
  1. set - 464 definitions
  2. run - 396
  3. go - 368
  4. take - 343
  5. stand -334
  6. get - 289
  7. turn - 288
  8. put - 268
  9. fall - 264
  10. strike - 250   Source
What do these words have in common?
  • They can all be used as verbs
  • All but one of these verbs ('turn') is irregular 
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OED Update - 2014

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