Above: Dr. Johnson’s definition of network, from his Dictionary of the English Language (1755). Below: Noah Webster’s definition of bridegoom, from An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). In 1833 Webster published his translation of the Bible, which used euphemisms instead of dirty words, “language which cannot be uttered in company without a violation of decorum,” so that women and children could read the scriptures without blushing.
James Murray, first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, shown here in his study at Hogwarts. Were Murray making dictionaries today, he would probably give up the 3x5 slips on which he wrote each word, together with a context illustrating it, and make a PowerPoint stack for every word instead.