Many digital currency enthusiasts were thrilled when Merriam-Webster added the word “Bitcoin” to its dictionary two years ago. On Monday, the company announced the addition of 850 new listings to its dictionary, including several additional crypto-related terms: cryptocurrency, blockchain, and initial coin offering.
The new dictionary definition defines cryptocurrency as “any form of currency that only exists digitally, that usually has no central issuing or regulating authority but instead uses a decentralized system to record transactions and manage the issuance of new units, and that relies on cryptography to prevent counterfeiting and fraudulent transactions.”
Blockchain is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a digital database containing information (such as records of financial transactions) that can be simultaneously used and shared within a large decentralized, publicly accessible network;also : the technology used to create such a database.”
The listing for initial coin offering defines an ICO as “the first sale of a cryptocurrency to the public conducted for the purpose of raising funds (as to support a start-up).”
Fans of The Simpsons will also be pleased, as Merriam-Webster added a word that series made popular several years ago: embiggen. For those who don’t recognize the term, the word means “to make bigger or more expansive.”