Have you ever been so hungry that you actually started to feel angry? There’s a word for that: hangry! It is one of more than 800 new words that were added to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary last month.
The first Merriam-Webster’s dictionary was published in 1847. Today, the online edition has more than 200,000 words. It looks very different than earlier versions. That’s because the English language has evolved over the years. Many words have come and gone. For instance, the first version of the dictionary included the word marcid. That means “wasted away.” But by 1961, not many people used the word anymore. So it was removed.
The dictionary is updated several times a year. Words are added when they start to become commonly used by many people. One of the new words is the verb Instagram, which means to post a picture to the Instagram app or website. The most recent update also includes shortened versions of some common words. For example, you’ll now find definitions for fave (favorite), adorbs (adorable) and guac (guacamole) in the dictionary.
“We need to constantly watch for new words and meanings in order to keep the dictionary up-to-date,” says Peter Sokolowski, an editor for Merriam-Webster.