Shocking New Words Added to the Dictionary

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Thousands of new words are added to the dictionary every year. This week Merriam-Webster chose 850 terms, picked from social media (subtweet), society (mansplain), culture (life hack), technology (bandwidth), entertainment (hate-watch), slang (dumpster fire) and even The Simpsons (embiggen). But before we define all of our favorite new additions, let’s learn how this selection happens.

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To choose the newbies, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary looks at the widespread and sustained usage of the words considered. The company has explained that they have to be terms that have become established members of the English language that people are likely to encounter.

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Its decision to include a new word doesn’t just come out of nowhere, it actually uses a meticulous process. The editors look throughout multiple aspects of society, analyze variations in use and context, all while making sure that the terms aren’t just part of a trend that will come and go. Check out some of the words, and their now-official definitions, below…

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Our favorites are definitely "dumpster fire" (an utterly calamitous or mismanaged situation or occurrence), “mansplain" (to explain something to a woman in a condescending way that assumes she has no knowledge about the topic), "embiggen" (to make bigger or more expansive), "life hack" (a usually simple and clever tip or technique for accomplishing some familiar task more easily and efficiently), “glamping" (outdoor camping with amenities and comforts not usually used when camping), “subtweet” (a usually mocking or critical tweet that alludes to another Twitter user without including a link to the user’s account), "hate-watch” (to watch and take pleasure in laughing at or criticizing a disliked television show or movie), “bandwidth” (the emotional or mental capacity necessary to do or consider something) and “welp” (to introduce a remark expressing resignation or disappointment).


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