Celebrating Life and Legacy of Sergey Ivanovich Ozhegov

Saurav Singh
4 Min Read
Celebrating Life and Legacy of Sergey Ivanovich Ozhegov

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Sergey Ivanovich Ozhegov (22 September 1900 – 15 December 1964) was a distinguished Russian lexicographer and linguist, renowned for his significant contributions to the field of lexicography. His life’s work, most notably the creation of the “Dictionary of the Russian Language,” has left an indelible mark on the Russian language and remains a cornerstone of linguistic scholarship.

Early Life

Sergey Ozhegov was born in the city of Okulovka, located in the Novgorod Oblast of Russia, in 1900. His formative years unfolded in a society undergoing significant cultural and political changes, with the Russian language at the forefront of these transformations. Ozhegov’s early fascination with words and language set the stage for his lifelong dedication to the study of linguistics.

After completing his education, Sergey Ozhegov began his career as a teacher and later became involved in lexicographic work. These early experiences nurtured his passion for language and laid the foundation for his future contributions to the field of lexicography.

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Sergey Ozhegov’s career in lexicography can be characterized as nothing short of monumental. His crowning achievement came with the creation of the “Dictionary of the Russian Language,” a comprehensive lexicon that aimed to encapsulate the vast and nuanced Russian vocabulary. This ambitious project, co-authored with Natalia Shvedova, took years of meticulous research and compilation.

Ozhegov’s approach to lexicography was characterized by precision and thoroughness. He delved deep into the meanings and usages of words, providing invaluable insights into the Russian language’s rich tapestry. His work was highly regarded by linguists, writers, and scholars, solidifying his status as a luminary in the world of linguistics.


Sergey Ozhegov’s legacy extends far beyond the pages of his dictionary. His meticulous work in preserving and documenting the Russian language has made him an iconic figure in the realm of linguistic scholarship. The “Dictionary of the Russian Language” remains an authoritative reference for the Russian language, serving as an essential resource for writers, translators, and language enthusiasts.

Moreover, Ozhegov’s commitment to linguistic precision and the preservation of language in a period of significant societal change continues to inspire linguists and language enthusiasts worldwide. His contributions to the Russian language’s development and understanding are a testament to the enduring value of linguistic scholarship.

Sergey Ivanovich Ozhegov’s life is a testament to the power of dedication and precision in the field of linguistics. From his humble beginnings in Okulovka to the creation of a seminal linguistic resource, he enriched the understanding and usage of the Russian language. Sergey Ozhegov’s legacy endures through the words and meanings he meticulously documented, ensuring that his contributions to linguistic scholarship remain a cornerstone of Russian language studies and a source of inspiration for generations to come.

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On 22 September 2020, a Google Doodle was created to celebrate Sergey Ozhegov’s 120th Birthday.


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