So you are hearing that, once again, the dictionary is adding new words. Did these words not exist before or, until now had they 'just not be worthy' of the greats at Merriam-Webster?

Here are a few words that are now in the dictionary with new meanings, from a press release at

  • Snowflake: Now used to mean both “someone regarded or treated as unique or special” and “someone who is overly sensitive.”
  • Purple: Extending the blending of red and blue to the metaphorical level, purple can now refer to geographical areas where voters are split between Democrats and Republicans.
  • Tailwind and headwind: These words are now often used figuratively to refer to a force or influence that either helps or hinders progress.
  • Peak: Metaphorically extended to mean “being at the height of popularity, use, or attention,” as in “peak television” (or maybe “peak word nerd”).
  • Goldilocks: Even a fairy tale can become a metaphor, and this new colorful definition, referring to the character whose preferred porridge is neither too hot nor too cold, has inspired astronomers to use it to describe “an area of planetary orbit in which temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold to support life.”

In addition to new definitions for words you might already be familiar with, there are words that have been categorized as 'new compound words' like Garbage-time, and Go-Cup. There is also a category of words called 'New Words from Science and Medicine' along with 'New Words from Business,' and 'New Words from Entertainment.' The full list of words added can be viewed here. 


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