After 71 years, the Middle English Dictionary Project has born fruit:
The dictionary covers 15,000 pages and includes more than 55,000 entries. The numerous meanings and usages are illustrated with 900,000 quotations ranging from the time of William the Conqueror to the advent of printing. They come from Chaucer, the stories of King Arthur and early Bibles, as well as contemporary letters, wills and remarkably detailed medical treatises.
The Middle English Dictionary is \"a labor of love . . . that is practically unrivaled in scale by any historical dictionary project of the modern era--and perhaps of any reference work project as well,\" said Richard Ekman, a former officer with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which since 1975 has provided the bulk of the financing for the $22-million project. . .