2021 Updates


Oxford Languages 2021 Updates

October 2021 English Update (Oxford Dictionary of English and New Oxford American Dictionary)

  • In our October update 419 definitions were added to ODE and 430 to NOAD, including more than 200 completely new headwords, phrases, and senses. New words include active travel, boomerang generation, conversion therapy, cultural Marxism, gig worker, mass surveillance, non-fungible token, prison-industrial complex, shapeshift, techlash, and vaccine passport.
  • This update focused on terms relating to climate change and the environment, such as decarbonization, degrowth, ecosystem services, energy from waste, extreme weather, and natural capital.
  • New material also included batches of World English additions from East African, Korean, and Irish English.
  • This updates also covered over 1000 revised entries, 250 updated etymologies, an ongoing sensitivity review, and English pronunciation improvements.


July 2021 Bilingual Updates (includes Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Russian bilingual datasets)

  • Across our bilingual dictionaries, numerous words relating to the pandemic have been added, such as coronavirus, covid-19, social distancing, WFH, self-isolate, PPE, and hand sanitizer. Other additional words included in some of our bilingual dictionaries cover topics such as gender and sexuality.
  • Sensitivity reviews were conducted on our German and Russian datasets; the English-German sensitivity review resulted in updates to 203 entries in the German-English and 409 in the English-German. Sensitive topics in both sides of the dictionary were reviewed, including gender, race and sexuality.
  • For the English-Russian sensitivity review, 114 entries were updated on the English-Russian side, and 112 on the Russian-English side. All English and Russian offensive and vulgar slang words were reviewed to ensure that they are translated, indicated, and labelled appropriately. This review focused on categories including race, disability, gender and sexuality.


April 2021 English update (US & UK monolingual dictionaries; US & UK thesauri; sentence dictionary; audio)

  • This year, we have added 450 new words, phrases, and senses to our modern English dictionaries, as well as over 860 new definitions, and covering themes such as mental health, covid, World English, and science.
  • New words include covidiot, anxiety disorder, murder hornet, and bellywash, while new phrases include keep on keeping on, and take a knee.
  • In addition to adding new material, carrying out updates, and revising targeted entries, for the English 2021 update we conducted an in-depth sensitivity review focusing on Mental Health and Mental Difference and on the way that political terms were defined, labelled, and illustrated. New senses were added to existing entries, and during ongoing sensitivity and revision reviews racism, racist, and related terms were reviewed, while 220 entries around mental health and mental difference were revised.


April 2021 Spanish monolingual update

  • The Spanish 2021 update included the addition of new material, with a particular focus on coronavirus-related terms.
  • The Spanish monolingual gained 100 new entries, 50 new senses or expressions, and 50 modified entries. New entries included: cubrebocas (face mask), sanitizar (sanitize), analérgico (non-allergenic), and panhispánico (pan-Hispanic).


April 2021 Spanish bilingual update

  • The Spanish bilingual update included 200 new or updated entries across both sides and covered additions such as: Covid-19 (Covid-19), climate crisis (crisis climática), person of color (persona de color), herd immunity (inmunidad colectiva), nanoplastic (nanoplástico), and net zero (cero neto).


April 2021 Portuguese monolingual update

  • For the Portuguese 2021 update, we conducted a major sensitivity review focusing on the way that thousands of entries relating to gender, sexuality, and other topics that are sensitive in Brazil are defined, labelled, and illustrated.


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