Here is a selection of the latest words added to Collins English Dictionary online.
A few of the additions in the latest update are associated with the realms of human imagination and storytelling. ‘Worldbuilding’ is the development of a coherent environment in which to set your stories, while the James Joyce coinage ‘monomyth’ is used to denote an underlying theme in many different mythologies. On a much smaller scale, you might have a sudden flash of insight while doing something mundane – aka a ‘shower thought’.
Some new and appealing informal adjectives also make an appearance: ‘floofy’ plays on ‘fluffy’ and describes an animal with luxuriant hair or fur, while ‘scrappy’ takes on the additional meanings of ‘aggressive’ or ‘spirited’. Meanwhile, the proliferation of ‘cringe’ as an adjective (think ‘cringe moments’) has merited its inclusion within the existing dictionary entry.
As the festive season approaches and gift-giving is on our minds, a couple of useful and (to some people at least) desirable gadgets have made their way into the online dictionary in the shape of the ‘air fryer’ and the ‘power washer’. We hope that everyone gets the gifts they really want this season and enjoys their ‘unboxing’.
cringe adjective,informal causing feelings of acute embarrassment or distaste: a cringe moment
floofy (ˈfluːfɪ) adjective floofier or floofiest slang (of an animal, esp a cat or dog) having luxuriant fur or hair
monomyth (ˈmɒnəʊˌmɪθ) noun a major theme that occurs in many different mythologies
Word origin: C20: coined by James Joyce in the novel Finnegans Wake, and popularized by the US literary critic Joseph Campbell (1904–87)
power washer noun an electrically powered tool that cleans surfaces by spraying a jet of water onto them at high pressure
scrappy (ˈskræpɪ) adjective scrappier or scrappiest informal 1 aggressive; pugnacious 2 spirited, energetic, and resilient: a scrappy underdog
shower thought noun, informal a sudden idea that occurs to a person during an unconnected mundane activity
unboxing (ʌnˈbɒksɪŋ) noun the act of removing something, esp a newly bought product, from a box
worldbuilding (ˈwɜːldˌbɪldɪŋ) noun the process of developing a coherent imaginary environment to act as the setting for a work of science fiction
Written by Mary O’Neill, managing editor.
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