Dictionary.com has added more than 300 new words and definitions to its vast English-language catalog, several of which draw from the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice movements and meme culture, among many other timely topics.
“It’s a complicated and challenging society we live in,” John Kelly, managing editor of Dictionary.com, said, according to CNN. “Language changes to help us grapple with it.”
In response to the pandemic, Dictionary.com added terms including “long COVID,” which it defines as “a condition characterized by symptoms or health problems that linger or first appear after supposed recovery from an acute phase of Covid-19 infection.” The word “long hauler” was also added, referring to “a person who experiences symptoms or health problems that linger or first appear after supposed recovery from an associated acute illness or active infection.”
The digital dictionary also introduced new terms to coincide with society’s evolving outlook towards varying racial identities, including “cultural appropriation,” which is defined as “the adoption, usually without acknowledgment, of cultural identity markers from subcultures or minority communities into mainstream culture by people with a relatively privileged status. “One-drop rule” and “DEI,” or diversity, equity and inclusion, were also included, among others.
Additionally, “deplatform,” was added, meaning, “to prohibit (a person or people) from sharing their views in a public forum, especially by banning a user from posting on a social media website or application.”
For tech enthusiasts, Dictionary.com has recognized “5G,” or “fifth generation,” as “being or relating to communications technology or a mobile device that supports much faster data-transfer speeds with significantly lower latency than previous versions,” along with both “synchronous” and “asynchronous.”
On the lighter end of the spectrum, “snack” has officially been defined as slang, meaning “a sexy and physically attractive person; hottie,” along with “yeet,” meaning “an exclamation of enthusiasm, approval, triumph, pleasure, joy, etc,” and “zaddy,” which refers to “an attractive man who is also stylish, charming, and self-confident.”
In addition to the new terms, Dictionary.com has also added two new learning services to its platform: Grammar Coach and Dictionary Academy. The former is an artificially intelligent writing tool that helps writers avoid making errors by correcting grammar and offering alternate word options, while the latter is a tutoring application with flashcards and quizzes based on custom-made word lists.