New English Words Added to the Dictionary in 2014

The English language is constantly changing to adapt to current trends and uses of the language. Learn some of the new words added to the dictionary in the past year!


hashtag (n.)

Examples of hashtags. Image source

A hashtag is a word or phrase beginning with a hash sign (#) – used on social media sites, such as Twitter, to identify messages about a particular topic. For example, the hashtag #YesAllWomen is used to share stories and raise awareness about violence and discrimination against women.

live-tweet (v.)

To live-tweet an event (such as a sports game, conference, TV show, etc.) means to publish updates to Twitter while the event is taking place. People often live-tweet in order to share thoughts instantly and exchange opinions with other people watching or participating in the same event.

listicle (n.)

An online article in the form of a list. The word is a combination of list + article. For example, “20 Things Only Introverts Will Understand.”

clickbait (n.)

Content on the internet with the main purpose of getting as many people as possible to click on it. This is usually done with headlines that are shocking or pique curiosity, such as, “She Starts Taking Her Clothes Off in Public – You Won’t Believe What Happens Next!”

Examples of clickbait. Image source



Short for “shaking my head” – used to express disapproval, frustration, annoyance, etc.


Short for “you only live once” – used to express the idea that you should take full advantage of the pleasures of the present moment.


Short for “do it yourself” – used for when you make or repair something yourself instead of buying it or getting a professional to do it.

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Health & Fitness

five-second rule (n.)

A common belief that if you drop food on the floor, but you pick it up quickly (within five seconds), it will not be contaminated by bacteria.

Paleo diet (n.)

A diet based on the foods believed to be eaten by early humans, before the development of agriculture or the domestication of animals. The Paleo diet focuses on meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables, and avoids dairy, cereals, and processed foods such as oil and sugar.

food coma (n.)

Feeling extremely sleepy or lethargic (without energy) after eating a large amount of food.


bikeable (adj.)

Describes a city or area that is good, safe, or easy for getting around by bicycle.

anti-vax (adj.)

Describes people who are opposed to using vaccines against diseases (usually parents who refuse to vaccinate their children). They often believe the vaccines can potentially cause more problems than the disease itself.

vape (v.)

Smoking an electronic cigarette (e-cig). Electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, but not tobacco, and they produce vapor instead of smoke.

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Business & Culture

crowdfund (v.) / crowdfunding (n.)

Getting money for a project or cause by posting an online campaign and getting donations or pledges from many people.

humblebrag (n./v.)

To make a statement that appears modest or humble, but is really designed to draw attention to oneself or something that you are proud of. For example, “I only donated $10,000 to charity this year. Wish I could have given more.”

acquihire (n.)

When a larger company buys a smaller company, but mainly because it wants to take over the smaller company’s team of employees, not the product or service.

english-phrases-word-timetime suck (n.)

An activity that is inefficient or unproductive; a waste of time.

crony capitalism (n.)

A system where there are close relationships between business owners and politicians. It is seen as a bad thing because it leads to corruption and laws that may benefit the businesspeople/politicians, but not the public.

first world problem (n.)

A problem or annoyance that is small or silly when compared to the suffering experienced by other people in the world, such as some of the population in developing countries.

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