Just as the English language constantly grows, so does the dictionary. More than one thousand new words have been added, including terms from recent advances in science, borrowings from foreign languages, and words from tech, medicine, pop culture, sports, and everything in between.
This is a significant addition to our online dictionary, reflecting the breadth of English vocabulary and the speed with which we seek information.
For example, we now see that new tech terms are more about what we do with technology—how it is managed, deployed, and organized—than giving a name to the technology itself; hence terms such as net neutrality, abandonware, and botnet. Our devices, apps, and programs allow us to binge-watch, photobomb, and ghost someone. Things we read online might be NSFW listicles; things we post online might be humblebrags. Some of these terms came into use in the past decade, and none are more than twenty years old.
Fun words for language lovers include conlang (a constructed language, like Elvish, Klingon, and Dothraki), Seussian, and snollygoster (“a shrewd, unprincipled person”), which has the unusual distinction of being a word returning to the dictionary. Snollygoster was dropped from our Collegiate dictionary in 2003 because it had fallen nearly completely from use; its frequent use by conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly sent people to the dictionary to find it over and over in recent years, and demonstrated that the word still has a place in the American lexicon.
Merriam-Webster Adds More Than 1,000 New Words to Dictionary
Filed by February 8, 2017on