Merriam-Webster Adds 30 New Food-Related Words to Dictionary

published Feb 8, 2017
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Your vocabulary may have been littered with words and phrases like “EVOO” and “food insecurity,” but they weren’t real words until today.

Merriam-Webster dictionary added more than 1,000 new words on Tuesday to its database of official words. The new words make reference to pop culture, science, foreign languages, and everything in between. A thousand words is impressive, but it pales in comparison to last year, when Merriam-Webster added more than 2,000 new words to its catalog.

“These are words that have demonstrated frequent and increasing use in a variety of sources and are therefore likely to be encountered by a reader — and should be in the dictionary,” writes Merriam-Webster editor-at-large, Peter Sokolowski.

(Image credit: dominique landau)

The cooking and food genre also received dozens of additions. The dictionary added definitions for prepared food items like arancini and macaron and ingredients like acai, elderflower, and EVOO. Additionally, the adjective artisanal has been updated to include food items that are created in limited quantities.

Also included on the list of new words are “food secure” and “food insecure.” The latter is a term used when a person or family is unable to consistently afford or have access to food. Accompanied with the definition is a quote from a 2010 Newsweek story using the words:

“According to data released last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17 percent of Americans — more than 50 million people — live in households that are “food insecure,” a term that means a family sometimes runs out of money to buy food, or it sometimes runs out of food before it can get more money.”

The complete list of food-related words added to Merriam-Webster is as follows: