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M-W Word of the Year Proves 2016 Was Nuts

Merriam-Webster chooses 'surreal'

(Newser) - You're not the only one who'd describe 2016 as "surreal." Merriam-Webster has chosen the synonym for "unbelievable"—officially defined as "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream"—as its word of the year, noting searches for "surreal" spiked following...

Online Dictionary Pleads for Public's Help With 'Fascism'

That's Merriam-Webster's most-searched word of 2016, and it wants to change that

(Newser) - Merriam-Webster sent out a tweet this week subtly asking for help from the public in fixing the situation surrounding the lead contender for its "word of the year" honors. "'Fascism' is still our #1 lookup," it informed Twitter. "There's still time to look something...

Is a Hot Dog a Sandwich? Merriam-Webster Rules

Yes, it is

(Newser) - Putting the kibosh on the great Memorial Day weekend debate you probably didn't know was happening, Merriam-Webster took to Twitter to declare, once and for all, that a hot dog is a sandwich, reports the New York Post . “We know: the idea that a hot dog is a...

This 'Word of the Year' Is Actually a Suffix

Merriam-Webster gives 'ism' the honor for 2015

(Newser) - First Oxford Dictionaries went with an emoji . Now Merriam-Webster has named its "word of the year," and it isn't a word at all. "Ism" was given the honor after words like socialism, fascism, racism, feminism, communism, capitalism, and terrorism saw high traffic on the dictionary's...

Donald Trump Is Increasing Our Vocabulary

And he's not the only politician who has us Googling words

(Newser) - Donald Trump's status as the GOP frontrunner has apparently been a boon for Merriam-Webster. Politico takes a quirky look at what the online dictionary says have been spikes in word lookups tied to the 2016 candidates, with a Merriam-Webster associate editor telling the site that "Trump has brought...

8 of the Newest Words in Merriam-Webster

Dictionary updates with 1.7K new entries, including 'WTF' and 'vocal fry'

(Newser) - Scrabble updated its dictionary last week, and now it's Merriam-Webster's turn. The dictionary has added 1,700 new entries, and many revolve around our online world, notes Time . Here are eight examples, along with the official definitions from M-W :
  • WTF: "what the f---, used especially to express

Word of the Year: Culture
 Word of the Year: Culture 

Word of the Year: Culture

Merriam-Webster unveils its choice for 2014

(Newser) - A nation, a workplace, an ethnicity, a passion, an outsized personality. The people who comprise these things, who fawn or rail against them, are behind Merriam-Webster's 2014 word of the year: culture. The word joins Oxford Dictionaries' "vape," a darling of the e-cigarette movement, and "exposure,...

'Yoopers,' 'Freegan' Added to Dictionary

Merriam-Webster gives nod to Upper Michiganders

(Newser) - Da "Yoopers" up dere in da U. P., Michigan's Upper Peninsula, have hit it big with inclusion of their nickname in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. The moniker for native or longtime residents of the Lake Superior region known for a distinctive manner of speaking and its Scandinavian roots...

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year Is ... Science


(Newser) - So, this is kind of weird: Merriam-Webster's word of the year is ... "science." And no, the publisher is not trying to make some sort of point by not choosing a word like, say, "selfie." Rather, it just looked at which words people looked up on...

2012 Words of the Year: 'Capitalism,' 'Socialism'

Merriam-Webster also cites bigot, meme, and malarkey

(Newser) - The logophiles behind Merriam-Webster have released their list of the most looked-up words of 2012, and at the top is an odd couple: "socialism" and "capitalism." It's the first time two words have shared the title, but the decision was a "no-brainer," because they...

F-Bomb Makes It Into Dictionary
 F-Bomb Makes It Into Dictionary 
and other new words

F-Bomb Makes It Into Dictionary

Sexting, flexitarian also among Merriam-Webster newbies

(Newser) - F-bomb and sexting are real words now, at least in the eyes of the editors at Merriam-Webster. The terms are among 100 or so additions in the 114-year-old dictionary's annual update, along with man cave, energy drink, shovel-ready, game changer, and "flexitarian," which refers to a mostly-vegetarian...

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year Is...

Let's just say it's a pragmatic choice

(Newser) - Merriam-Webster’s word of the year—pragmatic—may not be exciting, but at least it’s slightly less depressing than last year’s word, austerity. The editors chose the word because it was looked up so often on its online dictionary, particularly before August’s debt ceiling vote and during...

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year: Austerity
Word of the Year: Austerity
best of 2010

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year: Austerity

Runners-up include 'socialism,' 'bigot'

(Newser) - Austerity measures announced by governments across Europe this year sparked a surge in civil unrest, and a surge in people trying to find out exactly what the word means. Merriam-Webster says that, based on search trends, the noun—meaning "enforced or extreme economy"—is its word of 2010....

School Relents: Webster Dictionary Safe for Kids

Parent worried about 'oral sex' entries

(Newser) - School authorities in Southern California's Menifee district have reversed a ban on Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary after a parent complained about its references to oral sex. A committee of parents and teachers decided the dictionaries can be returned to fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms, the LA Times reports. Concerned parents, however, can...

Webster's Word of the Year: Distracted Driving

Transportation secretary LaHood is pleased

(Newser) - Webster’s New World Dictionary has named “distracted driving” its Word of the Year, much to the delight of Ray LaHood. The transportation secretary’s crusade to ban distracted driving, which generally refers to talking on the phone or texting while behind the wheel, is part of what brought...

Webster's New Words: Frenemy, Staycation

(Newser) - Merriam-Webster will make 100 additions to its Collegiate dictionary this year, and many may sound familiar, the AP reports. “These are not new words in the language, by any means,” said the publisher. An expert elaborates: They've “been around for a while but for some reason they...

'Bailout' Named Word of the Year

'Trepidation' and 'turmoil' also top list of words readers often look up

(Newser) - The word "bailout," in frequent use in newspapers, magazines, and TV thanks to the economic meltdown, has been named Merriam-Webster's 2008 Word of the Year, reports the AP. It was the word most looked up on the company's online dictionary, edging out other newly prominent and worrisome terms...

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