New Words Merriam-Webster Added in 2018

If you were starting to get bored or your bar convo was getting dull, guess what? I have new words that you can use to spice up your speech and your writing.

Merriam-Webster added over 840 new words to the dictionary this year.

“It’s important to remember that new words are added to the dictionary only when they have already been used by many people—often initially by specialists or subcultures…The dictionary’s job is to report that usage as it enters the general vocabulary.”

And I have made it my job to bring you 26 of these newly inducted English words.

When last year’s list was released I told you entertainment and social media was shaping not only our lives but also our language. That hasn’t changed.

Instagramming: to post (a picture) to the Instagram photo-sharing service

Subtweet: a usually mocking or critical tweet that alludes to another Twitter user without including a link to the user’s account and often without directly mentioning the user’s name

Bingeable: having multiple episodes or parts that can be watched in rapid succession: suitable for binge-watching

Haptics: 1) the use of electronically or mechanically generated movement that a user experiences through the sense of touch as part of an interface (such as on a gaming console or smartphone)

2) a science concerned with the sense of touch

Would you like to have this word used in a sentence? I understand.

Here’s one Merriam-Webster provides:

“Some video games let players experience simple examples of haptics; … players can feel shudders and jolts through joysticks and steering wheels that are linked to virtual activities like driving vehicles with high-torque motors.”

Words Related to Phones and Devices

Airplane mode: an operating mode for an electronic device (such as a mobile phone) in which the device does not connect to wireless networks and cannot send or receive communications (such as calls or text messages) or access the Internet but remains usable for other functions

Force quit: to force (an unresponsive computer program) to shut down (as by using a series of preset keystrokes)

Tech Talk

Blockchain: a digital database containing information (such as records of financial transactions) that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessible network; also: the technology used to create such a database

Fintech: products and companies that employ newly developed digital and online technologies in the banking and financial services industries

Words About the People

Generation Z: the generation of people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s

Latinx: of, relating to, or marked by Latin American heritage —used as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina

Rando:: a random person: a person who is not known or recognizable or whose appearance (as in a conversation or narrative) seems unprompted or unwelcome

You can use rando as a noun or an adjective, as in There was no husband material at the party, just your average, boring randos or I thought that was my friend but it was just some rando dude.

Descriptive Words


Adorbs: extremely charming or appealing.

It’s the newer way to say adorable.

Dumpster fire: an utterly calamitous or mismanaged situation or occurrence: disaster

Fav: is short for fave, which is short for favorite.

And if you’re wondering, the dictionary require to narrow things down to a single pick. You can have favs.

Bougie: marked by a concern for wealth, possessions, and respectability. It’s substitute for bourgeois, and it’s “usually disparaging” says Merriam-Webster.

Food & Beverage Words

Zuke: is short for zucchini. Zucchini is a smooth usually cylindrical dark green summer squash.

Zoodle: a long, thin strip of zucchini that resembles a string or narrow ribbon of pasta

Avo: is short for avocado, a pulpy green- to purple-skinned nutty-flavored fruit

Guac: is short for guacamole, which is pureed or mashed avocado seasoned with condiments

Gochujang: a spicy paste used in Korean cuisine that is made from red chili peppers, glutinous rice, and fermented soybeans

Iftar: a meal taken by Muslims at sundown to break the daily fast during Ramadan.

Hangry: irritable or angry because of hunger

Mocktail: a usually iced drink made with any of various ingredients (such as juice, herbs, and soda water) but without alcohol: a nonalcoholic cocktail

Unoaked: not aged in oak barrels

It appears that a lot of our slang comes from our eating and drinking habits, and the gatekeepers of our language seem to be embracing that.

Lifestyle & Language

Glamping: outdoor camping with amenities and comforts (such as beds, electricity, and access to indoor plumbing) not usually used when camping

Portmanteau: 1) a large suitcase

2) a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (such as smog from smoke and fog).

TL;DR: 1) too long; didn’t read —used to say that something would require too much time to read

2) a briefly expressed main point or key message that summarizes a longer discussion or explanation

Want an example? Ok. Here’s one from Merriam-Webster:

“The TL;DR of all this, of course, is that you can’t actually “disappear” from the Internet, even if you’re a famous band. ”

And here’s a bonus writing tip: You can use tl;dr to describe things that provide a summary of something longer, for example, a tl;dr YouTube video of a course.


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