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From A to Z: New Words Added to Dictionary.com Include Al Desko, Zika, and More

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 08:00

OAKLAND, Calif., July 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dictionary.com, the leading online and mobile English-language resource, today announced its latest word additions. The update includes more than 300 new words and definitions and over 1,700 updated entries, with a focus on recent political news, pop culture, and gender identity.

Dictionary.com lexicographers leverage billions of data points to better understand what the site's users are interested in and how they use language. It's no surprise that political words are coming to the fore as we head into the final stretch of the Presidential election. This year, many of the additions are pulled straight from the headlines—Daesh, intersectionality, warmist, woke, and Zika virus. Several of the new words relate directly to the media, including lamestream, presstitute, and hot take.

"Many of the new word additions are tied to larger cultural conversations, from current political events to slang," said Liz McMillan, CEO of Dictionary.com. "Whether it's the latest health crisis or a new abbreviated word, these definitions reflect the evolving curiosity of our user base and demonstrate the extent to which consumers turn to Dictionary.com to keep pace with the latest news and popular vernacular."

How exactly do new words enter the larger cultural lexicon? It depends on the word—the newest phrase in dating (or more aptly, breaking up), ghosting, spread like wildfire with the rise of dating apps like Tinder. Originally an academic term, intersectionality is now widely used in popular culture to frame and analyze discussions, most recently in reference to Beyoncé's visual album Lemonade. Fashion trends also make their mark on this update with the addition of the terms athleisure, lumbersexual, and mom jeans to Dictionary.com. Sometimes words receive lexicographical treatment because of their ties to recent cultural patterns like al desko, a term used to describe eating lunch at one's desk, or free-range parenting, which stems from the ongoing and often contentious debates about child rearing.

In step with the steady and timely conversations around gender and identity are the additions of hijra, misgender, panromantic, and ze, all of which were added in response to user lookups and requests. These emphasize the dictionary's role in helping users understand the shifting paradigms of identity. This is the third consecutive update from Dictionary.com that has expanded its definitions around words related to gender and sexual identity.

A selection of recently added words with brief definitions can be found below. Full dictionary entries for the new words can be found on Dictionary.com.

al desko: eating at one's desk in an office.

athleisure: a style of clothing inspired by athletic apparel but also worn as casual, everyday wear.

butthurt: mental distress or irritation caused by an overreaction to a perceived personal slight.

Daesh: a name used to refer to ISIS/ISIL, the radical Sunni Muslim organization.

deso: designated driver.

free-range parenting: a style of child rearing in which parents allow their children to move about without constant adult supervision, aimed at instilling independence and self-reliance.

ghosting: the practice of suddenly ending all contact with a person without explanation, especially in a romantic relationship.

health goth: a fitness enthusiast who is part of the goth subculture.

hijra: a person whose gender identity is neither male nor female, typically a person who was born male and dresses as a woman.

hot take: a superficially researched and hastily written journalistic piece, online post, etc., that presents opinions as facts and is often moralistic.

intersectionality: the theory that the overlap of various social identities, as race, gender, sexuality, and class, contributes to the specific type of systemic oppression and discrimination experienced by an individual.

lamestream: noting or relating to traditional print and broadcast media, when regarded as lacking the fairness, creativity, etc., of independent online news sources.

long-form: noting or relating to types of print or visual media content characterized by in-depth, lengthy narratives.

lumbersexual: a man whose style of dress and appearance is reminiscent of the ruggedly masculine stereotype of the lumberjack.

manspread: to sit with one's legs far apart, taking up too much space on a seat shared with other people.

misgender: to refer to or address (a person, especially one who is transgender) with a pronoun, noun, or adjective that inaccurately represents the person's gender or gender identity.

mom jeans: unstylish women's jeans.

NBD: acronym for no big deal.

panromantic: noting or relating to a person who is romantically attracted to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

Pokémon: a media franchise including video games, animated television series, movies, card games, etc. that depict a fictional class of pet monsters and their trainers.

presstitute: a journalist or media source whose news coverage is considered to be inappropriately influenced by business interests, political motives, etc.

totes: totally.

train wreck: a person who has experienced a personal failure, disaster, etc.

warmist: a person who accepts global warming as a reality (a term used by people who reject the concept).

woke: actively aware of systemic injustices and prejudices, especially those related to civil and human rights.

ze: occasionally used with a singular indefinite pronoun or singular noun antecedent in place of the definite masculine he or the definite feminine she.

Zika virus: a chiefly mosquito-borne virus of the genus Flavivirus that causes Zika, a mild illness.

Dictionary.com uses a number of tools to determine which words are widely used and should earn a place in the online dictionary. Lexicographers review and discover new words in everything from academic journals, pop-culture sources, and user suggestions, while vetting new candidates in a corpus of contemporary language use that contains more than 19 billion words. Dictionary.com stands apart from other dictionaries with its access to billions of data points in search lookups, and its lexicographers analyze this search data to better understand interest and demand.

About Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com is the world's leading, definitive online and mobile resource dedicated to helping people master the art of language. We provide tens of millions of global monthly users with reliable access to millions of definitions, synonyms, audio pronunciations, example sentences, translations and spelling help through our services at Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com. Our leading mobile applications for reference and education have been downloaded more than 100 million times. Dictionary.com is an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IAC) and part of IAC Publishing, IAC's premium collection of digital publishing brands.

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