Merriam-Webster added more than 800 words in its dictionary, some of which are terms related to cryptocurrency. The dictionary’s online version will see the words “blockchain” included in its list as well as “initial coin offering”. The inclusion of the words were mainly due to their already widespread use according to Merriam-Webster’s associate editor Emily Brewster. In a press release issued by the company, Brewster explained, “In order for a word to be added to the dictionary it must have widespread, sustained, and meaningful use.” She further stated, “These new words have been added to the dictionary because they have become established members of the English language, and are terms people are likely to encounter.”
Merriam-Webster’s online version defines blockchain as “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.” Other words included are microfinance, microedit, and unicorn – an addition Merriam-Webster made to acknowledge these words’ prolific use within the digital finance industry.
Unicorn is a word mostly used by venture capitalists to mean a startup that has a value of a billion dollars or more. Meanwhile, the term “initial coin offering” is defined as “the first sale of bitcoin-like digital currency.” Bitcoin, a noun, is defined by Merriam-Webster as a virtual currency made to be used for peer-to-peer digital transactions.
The online version of the dictionary similarly lists the year specific terms were used. For the word “blockchain”, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary cites the year 2011 as the word’s “first known use”. Merriam-Webster has been in the business of providing language information for more than a hundred years. Its dictionary, as well as its other products, are supported by a humongous team of professional writers and dictionary editors in the US – considered as one of the largest in the world.