Privacy Policy

Merriam-Webster is committed to respecting the privacy of visitors to its Web sites. The guidelines below explain how we protect the privacy of visitors to Merriam-Webster OnLine and its features.

Personally Identifiable Information

Merriam-Webster protects the identity of visitors to Merriam-Webster OnLine by limiting the collection of personally identifiable information. For certain promotions and to access certain features, such as to receive a Word of the Day subscription, we may request a voluntary submission of information such as name, e-mail address, city, state, and age.

Merriam-Webster does not knowingly collect or solicit personally identifiable information from or about children under 13, except as permitted by law. If we discover we have received any information from a child under 13 in violation of this policy, we will delete that information immediately. If you believe Merriam-Webster has any information from or about anyone under 13, please e-mail us at

All personally identifiable information collected through Merriam-Webster OnLine is used by Merriam-Webster and its staff to process and manage subscriptions, track site usage patterns and statistics, or to deliver services through the site; such information may also be used by the company for market research or for prize or information-request fulfillment unless otherwise indicated. Such information will not be posted or published by us, and, except as specified below in this privacy policy regarding anonymous aggregated data, or to provide services to you on behalf of Merriam-Webster OnLine, it will not be provided to third-party providers without consent.

If you choose to provide personally identifiable information to us, you may receive the following types of e-mails from us:

When you provide personally identifiable information to us, you can let us know that you do not wish to receive special Merriam-Webster or partner offers. Each offer will also have information available to allow you to "opt out" if you wish to receive no further offers.

Merriam-Webster OnLine may also use other third-party providers to facilitate the delivery of the services described above, and these third-party providers may be supplied with or have access to personally identifiable information for the sole purpose of providing these services, such as Word of the Day,to you on behalf of Merriam-Webster OnLine.

Merriam-Webster may also disclose personally identifiable information in special legal circumstances. For instance, such information may be used where it is necessary to protect our copyright or intellectual property rights, or if the law requires us to do so.

Anonymous Information

Anonymous aggregated data may be provided to other companies we do business with for statistical or market research purposes. For example, we may report to advertisers that a certain percentage of our site's visitors are adults between the ages of 25 and 35.

Cookies—Use by Merriam-Webster; Opting Out

We use cookies and software logs to monitor the use of Merriam-Webster OnLine and to gather non-personal information about visitors to the site. Cookies are small files that Merriam-Webster transfers to the hard drives of visitors for record-keeping purposes. These monitoring systems allow us to track general information about our visitors, such as the type of browsers (for example, Firefox or Internet Explorer), the operating systems (for instance, Windows or Macintosh), or the Internet providers (for instance, Comcast) they use. This information is used for statistical and market research purposes to tailor content to usage patterns and to provide services requested by our customers. To delete these cookies, which are browser cookies, please see your browser's privacy settings.

Cookies and Beacons—Use by Third-Parties; Opting Out

A beacon is an electronic file object (typically a transparent image) placed in the code of a Web page. We use third party beacons to monitor the traffic patterns of visitors from one Merriam-Webster OnLine page to another and to improve site performance. None of the information we gather in this way can be used to identify any individual who visits the site.

Merriam-Webster uses the services of one or more third parties to present or target the advertisements, promotions, and other marketing messages that you may see on various Web pages,to conduct research about such advertisements, promotions, and other marketing messages, and to analyze visits to this and other Web sites. To do this, such third-party providers may collect anonymous data through the use of cookies, beacons, and by other means. Merriam-Webster does not permit any of these companies to collect personally identifiable information about visitors to Merriam-Webster OnLine using cookies or beacons or any other means. Our Privacy Policy does not cover any use of information that such third parties may have collected from visitors or the method used by such third parties to collect that information (e.g., cookies and beacons). If you would like more information about this practice or to opt out of having this information used by companies that are part of the Network Advertising Initiative to provide targeted ads, please visit

To manage browser cookies, please see your browser's privacy settings. To manage Flash cookies, please use the Adobe Flash Player Settings Manager here:

Google AdSense Advertising Cookie and Privacy Policy

The DoubleClick DART cookie is used by Google in the ads served on Merriam-Webster OnLine. When you visit Merriam-Webster Online and either view or click on an ad, a cookie may be dropped on your browser. The data gathered from this cookie will be used to help AdSense publishers better serve and manage the ads on their site(s) and across the web. Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to you based on your visits to Merriam-Webster Online and other sites on the Internet. Visitors may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.


Any personally identifiable information collected through this site is stored on limited-access servers. We will maintain safeguards to protect these servers and the information they store.


We may occasionally conduct on-line surveys. All surveys are voluntary and you may decline to participate.


All of the content on Merriam-Webster OnLine is copyrighted by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 47 Federal Street, P.O. Box 281, Springfield, MA 01102, and it cannot be redistributed or used for commercial purposes. More detailed information about Merriam-Webster's copyrights and trademarks is available on our Copyright Notice page.

Contacting Us

If you have questions about Merriam-Webster or its products, visit our Contact Us page to find e-mail addresses and other contact information for the appropriate department. To correct, update, or remove personally identifiable information, please email us at

Links to Other Web sites

The Merriam-Webster sites each contain links to other Web sites. Merriam-Webster is not responsible for the privacy practices or content of these third-party Web sites. We urge all Merriam-Webster Online visitors to follow safe Internet practices: Do not supply Personally Identifiable Information to these Web sites unless you have verified their security and privacy policies.

Data Retention

We retain your information for as long as necessary to permit us to use it for the purposes that we have communicated to you and comply with applicable law or regulations.

Business Transfers

As we continue to develop our business, we might sell or buy subsidiaries, or business units. In such transactions, customer information generally is one of the transferred business assets but remains subject to the promises made in any pre-existing Privacy Policy (unless, of course, the customer consents otherwise). Also, in the unlikely event that Merriam-Webster, or substantially all of its assets are acquired, customer information will be one of the transferred assets, and will remain subject to our Privacy Policy.

Your California Privacy Rights

If you are a California resident, you are entitled to prevent sharing of your personal information with third parties for their own marketing purposes through a cost-free means. If you send a request to the address above, Merriam-Webster will provide you with a California Customer Choice Notice that you may use to opt-out of such information sharing. To receive this notice, submit a written request to, specifying that you seek your "California Customer Choice Notice." Please allow at least thirty (30) days for a response.

Acceptance of Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions

By using this site, you signify your agreement to the terms and conditions of this Merriam-Webster OnLine Privacy Policy. If you do not agree to these terms, please do not use this site. We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change, modify, add, or remove portions of this policy at any time. All amended terms automatically take effect 30 days after they are initially posted on the site. Please check this page periodically for any modifications. Your continued use of Merriam-Webster OnLine following the posting of any changes to these terms shall mean that you have accepted those changes.

If you have any questions or concerns, please send an e-mail to