Likely the preeminent source for definitions of words in the contemporary American English language. Orginally based on the landmark Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, but in a constant state of revision and updating, with fascinating features on new meanings and popular searches. Includes lists of most popular words.
The OED is the accepted authority on the history of words in the English language. It is the most important guide to the meaning and history of over a half-million words, both past and present, tracing the meanings of these words through the use of over 2.5 million quotations, drawn from a wide range of sources. Quarterly updates include at least 1,000 new and revised entries. The W&L library also has printed copies of the 1st and 2nd editions.
The Historical Thesaurus feature enables you to research "words associated with a given idea."
The Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) is a multi-volume reference work that documents words, phrases, and pronunciations that vary from one place to another place across the United States. (You can listen to audio of original research interviews.)
Fourth edition (2015) of authoritative guide to use of the English language, focusing on American and British usage, but also with examples from Australia, Canada, and elsewhere. [Do not use the "search" box at the top of the page.]
Online access to the 1918 edition of William Strunk's legendary guide to the "principal requirements of plain English style," later revised by his former student E. B. White and available at W&L in multiple printed editions.
2015 "anti-handbook handbook" presents and analyzes three hundred sentences drawn from the printed works of a single, typical day in the life of the language -- December 29, 2008. You may preview the contents.
2014 guide for serious students ranges in coverage from "sentence structure and grammar, to big-picture issues, such as adhering to genre patterns for successful research and publishing and developing productive and rewarding writing habits."
[Link goes to library catalog.] Eighth edition of this valuable guide is available only in printed form only -- no online access. Print available in Leyburn Reference and Science Reference @ PE 1408 .H2778 2016