SPRINGFIELD, Mass., Feb. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Throw shade joins over 1,000 new words and definitions added to Merriam-Webster.com, the popular dictionary site of America's leading dictionary publisher. The new words and definitions offer a snapshot of how vocabularies evolve and expand. The words range from the scientific to the conversational, and have all been added to the dictionary because they have established themselves in the English language.
Pop culture fostered the new word conlang, "an invented language intended for human communication that has planned and cohesive phonological, grammatical, and syntactical systems," a term that can be seen in action in award-winning movies and televisions series, like Game of Thrones. Bibliophiles will enjoy the term Seussian, "of, relating to, or suggestive of the works of Dr. Seuss (Theodore Geisel)," used to describe something or someone "having a playfully inventive or outlandish quality typical or reminiscent of the words and images found in children's stories like The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
Science, as always, brings us many new additions including CRISPR, pareidolia, microbiome, and prosopagnosia, which is an inability to recognize faces. On the opposite end of the scientific spectrum is the word woo-woo, defined as "dubiously or outlandishly mystical, supernatural, or unscientific."
"This is a significant addition of words to our dictionary, and it reflects both the breadth of English vocabulary and the speed with which that vocabulary changes," explains Lisa Schneider, Chief Digital Officer & Publisher at Merriam-Webster. "Our collaboration with GIPHY to illustrate some of these New Words also helps underscore how fun and relevant language and its changes are."
Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large, adds, "These entries also highlight the value of crafting useful and readable definitions that require the unique expertise and experience of our staff."
Words prevalent in today's headlines and on college campuses include microaggression, "a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority)," and safe space, "a place (as on a college campus) intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening actions, ideas, or conversations."
Social media has helped popularize informal terms like throw shade, "to express contempt or disrespect for someone publicly especially by subtle or indirect insults or criticisms," and ghost, "to abruptly cut off all contact with (someone, such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc."
Foodies will appreciate the word arancini, "rounded balls of cooked rice with savory fillings (such as mozzarella cheese) that are coated with bread crumbs and deep-fried"; basketball brings us up-fake, "a fake in which a player makes an upward movement to simulate starting to take a shot"; and the quickly made and cheaply available fashion trends that are fast fashion can be seen in shopping malls all over the globe.
Other notable additions include bokeh, supercentenarian, and snollygoster, a favorite word of political pundit Bill O'Reilly meaning "a shrewd, unprincipled person," and a rare example of a word that was once removed from the dictionary.
As part of this announcement, Merriam-Webster has teamed up with GIPHY, the world's first and largest GIF search engine where thousands of artists, brands, and pop culture moments make today's expression, entertainment, and info a little more moving. GIPHY will create original New Word GIFs for some of our latest additions, bringing vocabulary to life in a fun, visual format ideal for self-expression on chat and text apps. Follow @MerriamWebster and @giphy for Merriam-Webster's New Word GIFs.
Merriam-Webster, Inc. For more than 150 years, in print and now in digital media, Merriam-Webster has been America's leading and most-trusted provider of language information. Each month, our websites and apps offer guidance to tens of millions of visitors. In print, our publications include Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary (among the best-selling books in American history) and newly published dictionaries for English-language learners. All Merriam-Webster products and services are backed by the largest team of professional dictionary editors and writers in America, and one of the largest in the world.
For more information, visit www.Merriam-Webster.com and follow @MerriamWebster and @PeterSokolowski on Twitter.
GIPHY. GIPHY is GIFs. The first and largest GIF search engine, GIPHY is where thousands of artists, brands, and pop culture moments make today's expression, entertainment, and info a little more moving. Search, Share & Make All The GIFS!
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SOURCE Merriam-Webster, Inc.