Urban Dictionary, a site launched in 1999 by Aaron Peckham when he was a college freshman, is a crowdsourced compilation of, currently, more than 7 million definitions of an array of slang and other terms. You can refer to the site for information (buyer beware) and add new words or new definitions of your own to it; that's some of the point. As the tagline for the site explains, "Urban Dictionary is the dictionary you write. Define your world." And so, a definition for, say, LOL, will extend well past one and into the hundreds, while a new word — take actulutely, added May 20, "a cross between actually and absolutely" — might have only one entry. For now.
Urban Dictionary has long been used by people of the Internet, whether they're in search of actual definitions, hoping to create their own, or in the pursuit of making a joke. But it's also got an interesting real-world use, as Leslie Kaufman writes in The New York Times. Since conventional dictionaries don't always include the latest in slang terminology, lawyers and judges are looking to define language in court cases by turning to Urban Dictionary. "The online site ... has found itself in the thick of cases involving everything from sexual harassment to armed robbery to requests for personalized license plates, as courts look to discern meaning and intent in the modern lexicon," writes Kaufman. In separate cases, words like jack ("to steal") and to nut ("to ejaculate") were referenced in Urban Dictionary by the courts, which in the first instance "rejected the convicted man’s claim that he should not have to make restitution to the owner of a van he stole to use in a robbery" and in the second "rejected a motion to dismiss a sexual harassment claim by female employees." Other words the courts have sought to define on the site are iron, catfishing, dap, and grenade.