The world’s largest thesaurus is due to be published in the autumn - 44 years after work on the project started.

Staff at Oxford University Press in Walton Street announced today that the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary will be published in October.

The project began in 1965 and Christian Kay, 69, above, one of four co-editors, began working on the book in the late 1960s when she was 27.

The thesaurus was nearly completed in 1980, but the team decided to include words from updated versions of the Oxford English Dictionary, adding almost 30 more years to the project.

The two-volume work contains nearly 800,000 meanings.