Merriam-Webster announced the newest additions to its hallowed tome Monday, as over 150 words are joining their widely used Collegiate Dictionary. The new words of note include examples of how we talk now – techspeak, slang, and portmanteaus – and the usual head scratchers that have us asking "how was this not in the dictionary before?"
Merriam-Webster unveiled 15 of its newest words in a blog post and offered a brief explanation for why some of the words were added. But without further ado, here are the words (and their M-W definitions) at the top of the class of 2014:
- Big data (n): an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing by traditional database management tools.
- Catfish (n): a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.
- Crowdfunding (n): the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people especially from the online community.
- Fracking (n): the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to free up petroleum resources (such as oil or natural gas).
- Freegan (n): an activist who scavenges for free food (as in waste receptacles at stores and restaurants) as a means of reducing consumption of resources.
- Gamification (n): the process of adding games or gamelike elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.
- Hashtag (n): a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text (such as a tweet).
- Pho (n): a soup made of beef or chicken broth and rice noodles.
- Poutine (n): a dish of French fries covered with brown gravy and cheese curds.
- Selfie (n): an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks.
- Social networking (n): the creation and maintenance of personal and business relationships especially online.
- Steampunk (n): science fiction dealing with 19th-century societies dominated by historical or imagined steam-powered technology.
- Turducken (n): a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey.
- Tweep (n): a person who uses the Twitter online message service to send and receive tweets.
- Yooper (n): a native or resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan —used as a nickname.