Macmillan Dictionaries to be online only

Macmillan Dictionaries will only be available online from the new year, with Macmillan Education currently printing the final ever physical copies of the reference works.

Macmillan Dictionary Online launched in 2009 and has since experienced "explosive growth" according to the publisher. Editor-in-chief Michael Rundell said: "The traditional book format is very limiting for any kind of reference work. Books are out of date as soon as they're printed, and the space constraints they impose often compromise our goals of clarity and completeness. There is so much more we can do for our users in digital media."

He added: "While printed dictionaries only get updated every four or five years, Macmillan's online presence means we can add new words and phrases on a regular basis, reflecting the ever-changing role of English as the lingua franca of science, business, academia and social media."

Macmillan Education's publisher for dictionaries Stephen Bullon added: "Our research tells us that most people today get their reference information via their computer, tablet or phone and the message is clear and unambiguous: the future of the dictionary is digital."

Macmillan Dictionary Online is a free English dictionary and thesaurus, as well as a blog about topical word issues, a weekly column on newly-emerging words, and the crowd-sourced "Open Dictionary".