The AOD combines elements of the previous Oxford publication, The Australian National Dictionary (sometimes abbreviated as AND), which was a comprehensive, historically based record of 10,000 words and phrases representing Australia's contribution to English. However, The Australian National Dictionary was not a full dictionary, and could not be used as one in the normal sense. The AOD borrowed its scholarship both from the AND and from The Oxford English Dictionary, and competed with the Macquarie Dictionary when it was released in 1999.
The AOD's current editor is Bruce Moore. Its content is largely sourced from the databases of Australian English at the Australian National Dictionary Centre and The Oxford English Dictionary. It also draws on the latest research into International English.