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new additions

Merriam-Webster adds alt-right, dog whistle, and troll to the dictionary

Merriam-Webster announced Monday that its dictionary is now 250 words thicker. The new additions span a wide range, from the political to the culinary.

Merriam-Webster associate editor Emily Brewster said in a news release that additions are typically made because the words "are part of the current, active vocabulary of America," so it makes sense that several of Merriam-Webster's newest additions are politically charged. The dictionary officially defines "dog whistle" as "an expression or statement that has a secondary meaning intended to be understood only by a particular group of people"; "troll" as "to harass, criticize, or antagonize (someone) especially by provocatively disparaging or mocking public statements, postings, or acts"; and "alt-right" as "a right-wing, primarily online political movement or grouping based in the U.S. whose members reject mainstream conservative politics and espouse extremist beliefs and policies typically centered on ideas of white nationalism."

In less divisive words, the hugely popular hot sauce "sriracha," the frozen yogurt shorthand "froyo," and the pre-event consumption of alcohol known as a "pregame" are also now enshrined in the dictionary.