Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More

Help

I would like to see a particular word added to or deleted from the dictionary. What can I do?

Every day, Merriam-Webster receives many letters from people who want to lobby to have a word added to the dictionary (often a term they have just coined) or removed from it (often because they find the term offensive). However, the selection of which words to include in the dictionary is not based on personal preferences or popularity-contest-style votes; it is based on usage. Simply put, to gain entry to the dictionary, a word must be widely used in a broad range of professionally written and edited materials over an extended period of time. Any word that has sufficiently widespread use in such publications is eligible for dictionary entry (for more details on how words are entered in the dictionary, read the article How words get in the dictionary).

Since words are entered into the dictionary on the basis of actual usage, the best way to get a word in the dictionary is to use it and to encourage others (especially professional writers and editors) to use it. The best way to work toward getting a word removed from the dictionary is to avoid using it yourself and to discourage its use in published writing.