The article, based on the material of three editions of the authoritative Oxford English Dictionary, examines some evolutionary features of the pronunciation representation system in this general dictionary, which in recent years has gained extraordinary popularity after publishing of the online edition. The traditional and new transcription systems used in various editions of the dictionary are discussed in
detail. The expansion of the range of phonetic information is analyzed, taking into account the variation and variability of pronunciation in modern English, in its different national and regional variants. According to the original concept of the phonetic editors of the dictionary, their approaches to the interpretation of the terms Received Pronunciation and General American are briefly described, as well as the reflection of the principles of pronunciation standard and dynamics in the electronic edition of the dictionary. The conclusion is made about the indispensability of this dictionary at the present time for studying the dynamics of pronunciation and changes in the spelling of words under the influence of phonetic transformations.
Key words: Oxford English Dictionary, phonetic transcription, changes, orthoepic norm, phonetic variation and variability.