Expand Your Search Vocabulary with Merriam-Webster

Merriam-Webster has updated its Collegiate Dictionary with about 100 new words. Some of these words can keep your search results more recent though others of them are actually pretty old and have just made it into the dictionary (“zip line?” REALLY?) You can get 25 of the new words at

This list is a mix of the old (earmark, fan fiction, zip line), the new (locavore, staycation, webisode), and the new-to-me-but according-to-the-dictionary-it’s-been-around-a-long-time (frenemy, pharmacogenetics).

To get a sense of how these newer words can impact a search, do some experiments. Try searching for staycation and vacation and see how the tenor of the results changes. I did a search for frenemy -dictionary on Google News (I included the -dictionary part to avoid all the stories about how frenemy was now in the dictionary) and was surprised how often the word turned up in plot summaries and stories about TV shows. Editorial writers like Maureen Dowd seem to use it ironically. News writers often used it in quotes (appropriate now that it’s in the dictionary?) Frenemy has a distinct usage that will change your search results.

webisode -dictionary, on the other hand, brought a range of results from advertising to music to more local productions. I thought I was going to get a bunch of results about slick online endeavors and that wasn’t the case at all.

I’m always glad to hear about these new word releases, because they expand my search toolkit. Do some experiments with these newly-official words and see what they can do for your search results.

Categories: News

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