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Could you please guide me to load the Oxford Dictionary in LaTeX?

I am using MikTeX 2.5 with \usepackage[english]{babel}.

Yes, I need to load the Oxford Dictionary hyphenation patterns in LaTeX.

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Please expand your question. Do you want to have LaTeX use the Oxford dictionary for hyphenation? –  Martin Schröder Oct 31 '11 at 11:15
Maybe you should consider updating MikTeX to the latest release (2.9)... MikTeX 2.5 was released in summer 2006 if I'm not mistaken. –  Count Zero Oct 31 '11 at 11:19
i am already using the balel with english option. but my client is not happy with the hyphenation patten. He is suggesting that to load the Oxford. please advice me.. –  Saravanan.O Oct 31 '11 at 11:35

4 Answers 4

The declaration \usepackage[english]{babel} loads hyphenation patterns for American English. If British English hyphenation patterns are preferred, then


is the right choice. Instead of british one can also say UKenglish.

Upgrading to MiKTeX 2.9 is recommended, as the 2.5 version enables only a few languages (and British English is not among them); it's possible to enable other languages with MiKTeX's control panel also in 2.5, but the 2.9 version is more up-to-date and highly recommendable.

You can see whether British English hyphenation patterns are not preloaded if the


declaration produces the following message in the .log file:

Package babel Warning: No hyphenation patterns were loaded for
(babel)                the language `British'
(babel)                I will use the patterns loaded for \language=0 instead.

In this case you have to go to the MiKTeX control panel to enable the language.

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LaTeX format (i.e. the latex.exe executable) has American English hyphenation patterns preloaded. Hyphenation patterns are used to find correct break points in words in order to hyphenate them. It is not dictionary in the standard sense of the word. Neither babel nor any other package (to the best of my knowledge) load dictionaries. The declaration


just announces that the active (current) hyphenation patterns are those of American English. You might want to load British hyphenation patterns via


but I am not aware if there are critical differences from American English hyphenation patterns.

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US English: rel-a-tive, UK English: re-l-at-ive; US English: crit-i-cal, UK English: crit-ical. –  egreg Oct 31 '11 at 11:49
@Stephen Yes, those are only two examples; there are many more because English hyphenation is based on pronunciation and accentuation. So TeX doesn't split "record" in AmE, because it's hyphenated differently when it's a verb or a noun, while in BrE it's always hyphenated "re-cord". –  egreg Oct 31 '11 at 14:35
@egreg: I think the correct hyphenation of record depnds on whether it's used as a noun (rec-ord) or verb (re-cord). –  Brent.Longborough Aug 2 '12 at 10:45

(This is not really an answer, but a bit long for a comment and it belongs on both Igor and egreg's answers ...)

Searching through the files, I found that the hyphenation file for British English (as mentioned by both Igor and egreg) contains the following comment:

% These patterns are based on a file of 114925 British-hyphenated words
% generously made available to Dominik Wujastyk by Oxford University Press.
% This list of words is copyright to the OUP and may not be redistributed.
% The hyphenation break points in the words in the abovementioned file is
% also copyright to the OUP.
% We are very grateful to Oxford University Press for allowing us to use
% their list of hyphenated words to produce the following TeX hyphenation
% patterns. This file of hyphenation patterns may be freely distributed.



does satisfy the requirement to "use the Oxford hyphenation patterns" (I presume that OUP uses these patterns for its infamous dictionary).

For polyglossia, the relevant command appears to be:


(As this is really an extended comment, I feel I can get away with the following remark: I congratulate your client on insisting on the best. Not for choosing UK over US (that's an obvious one), but for choosing Oxford over ... the Other Place.)

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Does this apply to polyglossia also? –  Darling Oct 31 '11 at 12:38
The hyphenation rules are built in to the format, so it's just a matter of declaring which ones to use. Looking at the polyglossia manual, it seems that english accepts a variant option. I've added the relevant command. –  Loop Space Oct 31 '11 at 13:08
I was curious if polyglossia loaded the same hypenation file as babel and is OUP also. –  Darling Oct 31 '11 at 14:32
As the hyphenation files are loaded by the format, they are the same for all packages. Babel and polyglossia just make it easier to select which to use. So this file is actually used at a lower level and isn't part of Babel. –  Loop Space Oct 31 '11 at 14:46
+1 for pointing out that [british] actually is the OUP material... –  DevSolar Nov 2 '11 at 9:24

You can't load a dictionary into LaTeX or TeX. You have to load so called hyphenation patterns which is what babel does.

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I'd be glad to have an explanation why I was downvoted. Is the answer incorrect? Is it off topic or otherwise misplaced? Please explain! –  topskip Oct 31 '11 at 19:57
I didn't downvote, but I assume it would be because people thought the intent of the question was clear, even if poorly worded. And your response is not really an answer to the question. –  Michael Mior Mar 12 at 22:43

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