You won’t believe the words Merriam-Webster dictionary just added


Merriam-Webster just added the sandwich cookie “macaron,” along with about 1,700 other entries, to its online dictionary.

(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

“Clickbait” has arrived -- in Merriam-Webster’s unabridged online dictionary.

The dictionary announced Tuesday that it has added that word along with about 1,700 other entries, including “emoji” (small images used in email and text messages), “jegging” (a legging that looks like tight jeans), “photobomb” (to jump into a photo as it is being taken) and “NSFW” (not safe for work).

The first known use of “clickbait” was in 2010, the dictionary says, and the word means “something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest.”

Is this post feeling a little too self-referential? Awkward. Let’s move on.


Several of Merriam-Webster’s newly added terms are themselves ripped from the headlines.

“Colony collapse disorder,” for example, refers to a problem plaguing honeybees, which in turn is threatening U.S. agriculture.

“Dark money” refers to money for political campaigns donated through nonprofits that can keep donors’ identities secret.

The “sharing economy” involves individual people buying and selling access to goods and services such as cars and places to stay. It’s usually done online; for example, through Lyft, Uber, ZipCar and Airbnb.


“Palliative care” is healthcare whose goal is not to cure the seriously ill or dying patient but rather to manage symptoms, lessen discomfort and meet emotional needs.

Other newly added terms are somewhat obscure. “Hsaing-waing” is “a traditional Burmese musical ensemble consisting largely of drums and gongs.”

And some additions are delicious, such as the Mexican “chilaquiles” and the sandwich cookie “macaron.”

For more fun with words, follow @raablauren on Twitter.

Get the latest news and notes from our Book Club.