Dictionary.com adds 'alt-right,' 299 other words and definitions
Dictionary.com has added 300 new words and definitions to its vocabulary, including “clicktivism” (“the use of the Internet to organize and promote political or social causes and movements, as through postings on social media, email campaigns, and online petitions”) and “alt-right” (“a political movement originating on social media and online forums, composed of a segment of conservatives who support extreme right-wing ideologies, including white nationalism and anti-Semitism”) thus displaying the effect current politics has begun to have on the wider cultural conversation.
“Our users turn to us to define the words they see, hear, and read—and in today’s highly politicized world, we play a necessary role in helping users dissect the meaning of words heard in this period of political discourse,” said CEO of Dictionary.com Liz McMillan in a statement. “But not all new words spark controversy; words are often poetic and uplifting. For instance, our users have often asked why ‘petrichor’ isn’t in the dictionary, and today they can look it up and get an official definition for the distinctive aroma you smell after it rains.”
Indeed, the list of definitions includes a wide array of words beyond the political spectrum, like “lightsaber” (“a type of sword, as depicted in the fictional Star Wars universe, with a blade made of laser energy that can both cut and burn”) and “dabbing” (“the act of performing a dance move that involves posing with one’s nose in the crook of a bent elbow at chest level while extending the other arm to the side at or above shoulder level, often as a celebratory posture in sports or other competitions”).
Other words that can be looked up on Dictionary.com include:
420: slang; marijuana.
alt-right: a political movement originating on social media and online forums, composed of a segment of conservatives who support extreme right-wing ideologies, including white nationalism and anti-Semitism.
bitchface: slang; a facial expression that does not consciously express a particular emotion but that others perceive as scowling, threatening, etc.
cat café: a business establishment that has numerous cats available for customers to play with, and usually offers food and drinks.
cheat day: a day in which a person goes off a dietary regimen.
clicktivism: the use of the Internet to organize and promote political or social causes and movements, as through postings on social media, email campaigns, and online petitions.
cold brew: the process of steeping coffee grounds or tea leaves in room-temperature or cold water for many hours, producing a concentrate to which more water may be added.
dabbing: the act of performing a dance move that involves posing with one’s nose in the crook of a bent elbow at chest level while extending the other arm to the side at or above shoulder level, often as a celebratory posture in sports or other competitions.
dad bod: informal; a man’s physique that is slightly overweight or flabby but still attractive.
friendiversary: the yearly recurrence of the date that two or more people first became friends.
hangry: slang; feeling irritable or irrationally angry as a result of being hungry.
K-pop: pop music from Korea.
Kush: slang; marijuana, formerly specific to a strain of cannabis that originated from the Hindu Kush region.
lightsaber: a type of sword, as depicted in the fictional Star Wars universe, with a blade made of laser energy that can both cut and burn.
man bun: a man’s hair gathered into a bun at the back or top of the head.
mic drop: the act of intentionally dropping one’s microphone at the end of a speech or performance, displaying a bold confidence that it has been very impressive or cannot be topped.
petrichor: a distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.
sext: a sexually explicit digital image, text message, etc., sent to someone usually by cell phone.
slay: slang; to strongly impress or overwhelm someone.
smackdown: a severe rebuke or criticism.
stochastic terrorism: the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted.
struggle bus: slang; a situation, task, etc., that seems difficult or frustrating.
superfood: a food considered exceptionally good for one’s health and for boosting the immune system owing to its naturally high content of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, or omega-3 fatty acids.
teachable moment: a specific occurrence, situation, or experience that can be used to teach people about something more general.
throw shade: slang; to insult, criticize, or disrespect a person or thing in an indirect, artful manner.
uncanny valley: a psychological concept that describes the feelings of unease or revulsion that people tend to have toward artificial representations of human beings, as robots or computer animations, that closely imitate many but not all the features and behaviors of actual human beings.
Last year, Dictionary.com named “Xenophobia” its word of the year.