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Emoji come to Macmillan Dictionary

Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter

We have just published one of our regular updates to Macmillan Dictionary and this one includes something very special: entries for more than 50 common emoji, compiled by lexicographer and emoji expert Jane Solomon. The entries are included at the relevant dictionary headwords and each one shows an illustration of an emoji before going on to explain the form of the emoji, what it means and any associated meanings and uses. So the entry for bee explains that the bee emoji is used to spell out words like ‘be’ or ‘because’, but is  also used by fans of Beyoncé, who call themselves ‘the Beyhive’, while the entry for sparkle tells us that the emoji is used to show excitement or to make messages look pretty. Some entries contain information about several different emoji; see for example the entries for face and hand. Each emoji sense is linked to a thesaurus entry containing all the emoji entries, which you can use to explore this new feature of Macmillan Dictionary. In longer entries, the emoji sense is included in a menu at the top of the entry; just click on the emoji link. In shorter entries, scroll down to find the emoji meaning.

This update does not just include entries for common emoji, however. We have greatly expanded our coverage of the environment, with entries for agroforestry, bioenergy, net-zero, permaculture and many more.  In addition, to reflect the increased and growing importance of environmental issues, examples have been added to well over 100 existing entries relating to the environment, from biodiversity and desertification to nitrate and herbicide. As we have mentioned before, one of the beauties of online dictionaries is that there are no space constraints as there are with print dictionaries, and we intend to continue expanding existing entries in future updates.

We have also boosted our coverage of gaming terms, with entries for in-game, loot box, pay to win, skin and others. As you might expect, terms relating to the COVID-19 pandemic have been added, from COVID-19 itself and the official name of the virus, SARS-CoV-2, to herd immunity and a new pandemic-related meaning of lockdown. For fans of our furry friends we have added to our coverage, with new entries for many dog breeds and cat breeds. Some of the latter have wonderful names like Exotic shorthair, Norwegian Forest cat and Snowshoe. We have also added a number of legal terms from our legal expert Kevin Pike, including the but for test, peremptory challenge and proximate cause. All this is on top of our regular additions of new entries and meanings, drawn from many different areas of life today.

There are more exciting developments to come soon at Macmillan Dictionary. You can find out about them by keeping an eye on this blog.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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