Merriam WebsterMerriam–WebsterG. & C. Merriam CompanyMerriam-Webster Inc.first American dictionaryMerriam Webster Collegiate DictionaryMerriam-Webster OnlineC. & G. Merriam CompanyDigital WebsterG & C Merriam Company
Merriam-Webster, Inc., is an American company that publishes reference books and is especially known for its dictionaries.wikipedia
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highwayspublic roadsuperhighway
According to Merriam Webster, the use of the term predates 12th century.


all meetCorner of Four Countriesfour corners
It does not appear in the Oxford English Dictionary or Merriam-Webster Online.

Fast food restaurant

fast-food restaurantquick service restaurantfast food chain
The term "fast food" was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam–Webster in 1951.


superheroessuperheroinesuper hero
While the definition of "superhero" is "a figure, especially in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and usually portrayed as fighting evil or crime", the longstanding Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the definition as "a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also: an exceptionally skillful or successful person".


Blue BeardLa Barbe bleueBarbe bleue
The notoriety of the tale is such that Merriam-Webster gives the word "Bluebeard" the definition of "a man who marries and kills one wife after another," and the verb "bluebearding" has even appeared as a way to describe the crime of either killing a series of women, or seducing and abandoning a series of women.

Anthropodermic bibliopegy

Books bound in human skinBound In Human Skinanthropodermic books
The earliest reference in the Oxford English Dictionary dates from 1876; Merriam-Webster gives the date of first use as circa 1859 and the OED records an instance of bibliopegist for a bookbinder from 1824.


colonialcolonial powerscolonialist
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers four definitions, including "something characteristic of a colony" and "control by one power over a dependent area or people".

White nationalism

white nationalistwhite nationalistswhite power
The first documented use of the term "white nationalist" was 1970, according to Merriam-Webster.

Americana Music Association

AMAAmericana Radio AlbumsAMA (US)
The Recording Academy added the category of “Best Americana Album” in 2009, and Merriam-Webster included the musical term into the dictionary in 2011.

Busy work

Busyworkmindless paperworkdetailed practice plans
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines busywork as "work that usually appears productive or of intrinsic value but actually only keeps one occupied."

Southern Ocean

Antarctic OceanSouthernSouth Seas
The 2000 IHO definition, however, was circulated in a draft edition in 2002, and is used by some within the IHO and by some other organizations such as the CIA World Factbook and Merriam-Webster.

American Writers: A Journey Through History

American WritersAmerican Writers series
As a companion volume to the series, Merriam-Webster published the Dictionary of American Writers in 2001, which contained brief entries on a wide variety of writers, many of whom were not profiled in the series.


oleanderNerium oleanderoleanders
Merriam-Webster believes the word is a Medieval Latin corruption of Late Latin names for the plant: arodandrum or lorandrum, or more plausibly rhododendron (another Ancient Greek name for the plant), with the addition of Olea because of the superficial resemblance to the olive tree (Olea europea).

A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English

Pronouncing Dictionary of American EnglishKenyon and Knott
A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English, also referred to as Kenyon and Knott, was first published by the G. & C. Merriam Company in 1944, and written by John Samuel Kenyon and Thomas A. Knott.

New jack swing

swingbeatNew Jacknew-jack
Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines new jack swing as "pop music usually performed by black musicians that combines elements of jazz, funk, rap, and rhythm and blues".

Revenants in fiction

revenantbrought back to liferevenants
Merriam-Webster's definition of revenant is "one that returns after death or a long absence."


Detribalize has been defined by Merriam-Webster as "to cause to lose tribal identity," by as "to cause to lose tribal allegiances and customs, chiefly through contact with another culture," and by the Cambridge Dictionary as "to make members of a tribe (a social group of people with the same language, customs, and history, and often a recognized leader) stop following their traditional customs or social structure."


gentilicdemonymsinhabitants are called
National Geographic attributes the term "demonym" to Merriam-Webster editor Paul Dickson in a recent work from 1990.

Overview of discretionary invasive procedures on animals

animal mutilationsList of mutilatory procedures on animalsOverview of mutilatory procedures on animals
Merriam-Webster defines "mutilate" as "to cut up or alter radically so as to make imperfect", but gives a relatively mild example: "the child mutilated the book with his scissors".


As explained by the American Heritage and Merriam-Webster's dictionaries, the cause of the confusion is that the spelling with "-tian" is an irregular alteration of the ending "-cian", which is otherwise exclusively used to refer to specialists and practitioners of other professions.


advertorialspaid newsfavourable comment
Merriam-Webster dates the origin of the word to 1946.

Proactive law

According to the dictionary of Merriam-Webster, the word proactive refers to acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes.

Free solo climbing

free solofree soloingfree solo climber
"Free solo" was originally a term of climber slang, but after the popularity of the Oscar-winning film Free Solo, Merriam-Webster officially added the word to the English dictionary in September 2019.

Scotch-Irish Americans

Scots-IrishScotch-IrishScotch-Irish American
Although referenced by Merriam-Webster dictionaries as having first appeared in 1744, the American term Scotch-Irish is undoubtedly older.