Jul 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Dictionary.com adds 300 words, definitions "to mirror the world around us"

Dictionary entry

KAREN BLEIER / Getty Images

More than 300 words and definitions newly appeared on Dictionary.com this week, to better "mirror the world around us," the site's managing editor said of the update.

Driving the news: Words made popular during the COVID-19 pandemic and others that reflect the race and justice dialogue that followed last year's police-killing of George Floyd were added to the web-based dictionary based on the Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.

Additions include...

  • Definitions for "asynchronous" and "synchronous."
  • "Long hauler," referring to people who experience lasting coronavirus symptoms.
  • Initials such as DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and JEDI (justice, equity, diversity and inclusion) also made the cut.
  • CW (content warning) and TW (trigger warning) may fall alongisde media alerts that feature possibly upsetting or violent topics.

"We can thank Black social media for the fun — and multifunctional — smash slang hit of yeet, variously used as a joyful interjection or verb for forms of quick, forceful motions," Dictionary.com editors said of the updates.

  • "We can thank artist Ty Dolla $ign for popularizing the zesty zaddy, an alteration of daddy that means 'an attractive man who is also stylish, charming, and self confident.'"

What they're saying: "It's a complicated and challenging society we live in, and language changes to help us grapple with it," Dictionary.com's managing editor John Kelly said.

Go deeper