Neilson, William Allan (nēlˈsən) [key], 1869–1946, American educator, b. Scotland, M.A. Univ. of Edinburgh, 1891, Ph.D. Harvard, 1898. He taught English in Scotland and Canada and at Bryn Mawr and Columbia and served (1906–17) as professor of English at Harvard. From 1917 until his retirement in 1939 he was president of Smith. He was author of a number of critical works, editor of the Cambridge and Tudor editions of Shakespeare (1906, 1911), and editor in chief of the second edition (1934) of Webster's New International Dictionary.
See M. F. Thorp, Neilson of Smith (1956).