9 new words in Collins Dictionary

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’.

air fryer or air frier  noun  an electrical device for cooking food by circulating hot air around it at high speed

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.

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

Other Articles

9 new words in Collins Dictionary, May 2022

Japanese comics and animated films have contributed four new entries to Collins English Dictionary online in its most recent update: jousei, seinen, shonen and shojo. Each of these genres features a different type of protagonist and is so designed to appeal to a particular audience. Some appealing food and cookery… Read More

9 new words in Collins Dictionary, February 2022

Not for the first time, concerns about our climate and environment are writ large in a batch of additions to Collins English Dictionary online. We find sets of parallel terms: ‘green hydrogen’ is produced without emissions of carbon dioxide, and one of its counterparts, ‘blue hydrogen’, is produced with relatively… Read More

7 words that capture the essence of autumn

With blustery gales, golden leaves and darker evenings ahead, autumn is the perfect time of year to indulge in your favourite treats and activities. To celebrate the most bountiful season, we’ve curated a selection of words that capture its essence, from delicious treats to the words that capture that crisp… Read More