You can search the Merriam-Webster online dictionary anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re looking for a specific word or trying to find out if something is the same word in several languages, you’re sure to find what you need. It’s no wonder why Merriam-Webster is the go-to dictionary for writers and speakers all over the world. The new third edition of the dictionary is even more user-friendly and accessible than before.
Time Inc. tried to buy Merriam-Webster in 1983
The Merriam-Webster dictionary is a longstanding member of the lexicographic fraternity. Its origins date back to the mid-19th century when George and Charles Merriam opened a printing business in Springfield, Massachusetts. As time passed, the company expanded its offerings, and it eventually became a subsidiary of Encyclopaedia Britannica.
One of the earliest dictionaries produced was the An American Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1840. Since then, the company has released a number of dictionaries and reference works. This includes a dictionary of proper names, synonyms and antonyms, sports terms, and medical terminology. In addition to its print edition, the Merriam-Webster company also publishes electronic versions of its products, licensed to academic and government institutions as well as commercial entities.
The company has taken a scholarly approach to its editing, retaining a full-time staff of distinguished scholars to carry on Noah Webster’s legacy. A new product, the Merriam-Webster OnLine, was launched in the mid-90s, and contains the full text of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Thesaurus, as well as many other language related features.
The Third edition
The Third edition of Merriam Webster’s online dictionary has set a new standard in lexicography. It’s a landmark for the field and a testament to 150 years of scholarship.
The Third New International Dictionary was edited by Philip B. Gove, an English professor at Yale who edited other dictionaries before settling at Merriam. He decided to eliminate tens of thousands of entries and make room for new words from pop culture.
The dictionary is now available as an online subscription. In addition to the scanned paper version, it’s also available on CD-ROM. This is often packaged with the print edition.
Although the dictionary’s name comes directly from the person responsible for its creation, the revisions do not bear much resemblance to the original source. Instead, they find a strong foundation in Noah Webster’s concept of language evolution.
There are now more than 400,000 entries in the New International Dictionary. It includes biographical sections, maps, and color plates. Plus, it introduced a divided page, which is designed to save space. Six columns of very fine print are dedicated to abbreviations, foreign words, and variant spellings.
List of most looked-up words
Every year, Merriam-Webster identifies the most looked-up words of the year. The list includes both commonly used words and words associated with major news events. They are chosen based on data and a selection process.
Words such as “gaslighting” and “oligarch” made the top ten for 2022. The interest in these terms has been sustained throughout the entire year Some of the key movers included the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and the Russian government’s sanctions against Russia’s oligarchs.
The word “refugee” holds the number two spot. During Hurricane Katrina, this word was used to describe those displaced by the storm. It was also one of the most heavily looked up event-related words in the dictionary’s history.
Other top searches were related to the proliferation of insects in the U.S., the coronavirus crisis, and the Graham-Cassidy bill. Interest in these words is largely due to the social and political debates surrounding them.
Change of name
Merriam Webster is a dictionary company that publishes reference works. This company started in 1831. Its products include dictionaries, synonyms, sports terms, proper names, and medical terms.
In the nineteenth century, Merriam Webster became known for its quality dictionaries. They were the first to offer illustrations. Their products helped to build the reputation of the “Webster’s” brand. However, in the early 1900s, the Merriam company encountered legal challenges over the use of the name.
Since then, the company has been a subsidiary of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., a global publisher of reference works. Its dictionary contains more than 70 million words, and is one of the largest in the world.
In the 1980s, the company began publishing dictionaries in electronic formats. It also licensed electronic versions of its products to academic and commercial institutions.
Merriam Webster’s lexicographers carefully watch changes in the English language. Many of the newly recognized words are related to current trends in society.