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In an Australian PhD dissertation, the Oxford English Dictionary would be the obvious choice when needing to make reference to a dictionary definition.

However, I am writing for an audience of (mostly) American computer scientists and would like to follow US conventions.

Which dictionary would be widely regarded as the source of the most authoritative, prestigious and "academic" definitions within the US?

(There is a related question at US Equivalent to the Oxford English Dictionary but the question and answers are based on a reader's point of view, rather than as an authoritative source)

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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is a request for resources. – David M Mar 11 '14 at 0:55
  • @DavidM We often migrate these sorts of questions to English Language & Usage Meta; it's one of the other “off-topic” close reasons. – Bradd Szonye Mar 11 '14 at 0:58
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    The OED is good for any Anglophone PhD, except in cases of specialized terminology or dialectal variants. – John Lawler Mar 11 '14 at 1:02
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    I suggest you check with the host, university or institution where you will be presenting. They may have a preferred set of references; I suspect they will be shocked if you follow it. – Elliott Frisch Mar 11 '14 at 1:43
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    The American equivalent to the OED is the OED. There is nothing else like it. – tchrist Mar 11 '14 at 2:37

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