March 2009 update

On 12 March 2009 the New Edition was updated with revised entries in a series of discrete alphabetical ranges, as well as the addition of new entries from across the alphabet. In some ranges, not every entry was revised, as editorial effort was concentrated on the most significant groups of related words. For further details see the Chief Editor’s commentary on the latest revision. Below this are listed all the new words in the ranges, as well as a list of new entries across the alphabet.


Humanity, society, and other diversions

Recent updates to the OED have focused alternately on alphabetical revision in the letter R and high-profile words elsewhere in the alphabet. This release concentrates on more high-profile terms, with an emphasis on words relating to humanity and life in society. In addition, several key scientific sections are revised, as are two of English’s most common prepositions and adverbs. The key words in this release include community, human, life, live, social, walk; the aceto- compounds, acid, alkali; about and above. Needless to say, long sets of adjacent, related words are revised and updated alongside these key terms.

These notes cover a range of aspects of the OED’s revision programme. Firstly, one of the revised and updated entries, absentee, is considered in some details, to see how revision has changed our view of the word. Secondly, there is a brief glimpse at the profile or ‘shape’ of several of the ‘big’ entries in the range. This looks at how old they are in the language, and how this tends to inform the way in which they have developed over the centuries. Thirdly, we investigate a rogue quotation. This is one which, for over one hundred years, the OED has offered as the earliest example in English of the word pal (= friend, mate). New research in the relevant archive shows that it was wrongly assessed back in 1904. And finally, evidence for the word playwright, which confirms our suspicions that it does date from the time of Shakespeare.

But first of all, a look at one of the newly revised entries, absentee.

A Victorian time capsule

One of the subranges of entries now revised and updated dates includes material originally published in 1884 in the very first instalment of the OED (A to Ant). These entries (Abib to absolve) were compiled in the early days of the dictionary, which makes a comparison between them and their modern revisions particularly pertinent.

We began the present revision at the letter M, and that stream of revision has reached reamy. With this experience behind us, we can address those entries earlier in the alphabet which illustrate the problems (lack of data, the establishment of a firm editorial policy, etc.) that the first editors faced in the late 19th century.

The entry for absentee demonstrates this well. When the entry was originally published in 1884, it had only two senses:

1. One who is absent, or away, on any occasion. [Dating from 1537]

2. One who systematically stays away from his country or home; a landlord who lives abroad. (Often used attrib.. as in absentee king.) [Dating from 1605]

The senses were ordered in their chronological sequence; ‘systematically’ feels slightly the wrong word to use in the context of absentee owners or rulers; the repetition of the formula ‘one who..’ comes from an older stylistic tradition of lexicography. In general the entry (which included nine illustrative quotations) gave only a brief, incomplete picture of a well-established word which had been in English since the 16th century.

The Supplement to the OED added a subsense to sense 1 in 1972:

1.b. = absent voter. Also (chiefly U.S.) absentee vote, voter, voting. [Dating from 1925.]

But even this addition suggests that nothing much had happened to the word absentee between 1600 and the early twentieth century.

The original etymology, too, is curt: [f[ormed on] ABSENT v. + -EE.]

Overall, the impression given in 1884 was of a word independently created in English, and experiencing little substantive change since the time of its coinage.

The situation presented in the revised entry is quite different, and this sort of change is typical of the fuller picture the OED is now able to give of the language in its current revision.

The word absentee did not arrive in English from nowhere in 1537. Modern research into the languages which influenced English in the early days shows that as early as 1392 (and perhaps even before this) the word absenté was current in Anglo-French (the form of French used in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066) in the specific sense ‘a person holding property in Ireland, but resident in England without licence and in breach of legislation requiring their residence in Ireland’. The equivalent verb is recorded in Anglo-Norman from roughly the same date. So there was a history of the immediate ancestor of our absentee in Britain at least one hundred and fifty years before the first recorded occurrence of the word in English.

The first illustrative use in English provided by OED1 is problematic. It is purportedly from 1537, but it is cited from a later edition of Thomas Blount’s celebrated Law Dictionary of 1691. In fact the headword cited by Blount should probably be read as Anglo-Norman, rather than English, but a reference he gives led us to an example in English from the same year:

1537 Act 28 Hen. VIII in Statutes Realme of Irelande (1572) f. 46v, The Act of Absenties…noble men of the realme of England…in their absence & by ther negligences suffred those of the wild Irishrie…to enter and hold the same [lands] without resistence.

This example, given by OED1 as illustrating sense 1, in fact illustrates sense 2, which in the revised entry becomes the first recorded sense in the entry:

1. A landowner who resides abroad or at a distance from his or her estate; (formerly also) a clergyman who is habitually absent from his parish. Also more generally: a person who is habitually absent from his or her country, home, property, or place of employment. In early quots. specifically designating a person holding property in Ireland but resident in England without licence, in breach of legislation.

This leaves a quotation from Jonathan Swift from 1724 as the first recorded use of the other, more general, sense (and notice here the Irish link). But there is a problem here too, in that reverification of the quotation shows that it dates in print from 1735, not 1724. As the original entry is deconstructed, it starts to fall apart.

The well-documented Britocentricity of OED1 now comes into play. The revised entry shows that things were indeed happening to the word absentee in the 18th and 19th centuries, but not necessarily in Britain.

1777 marks the emergence of a new sense in North America, during the years surrounding Independence:

3. U.S . A person loyal to the British who fled his or her residence during the American Revolution. Now hist.

This sense is recorded in historical contexts into the modern period.

By 1805 a further new sense emerges in Australia, from the history of the transportation of criminals:

4. Austral. An escaped convict. Cf. escapee n. (a). Now hist. and rare.

Again, circumstances mean that this sense is also now just historical in its modern use.

The Supplement to the OED had, in 1972, added a sense relating to voting (dated from 1925). Modern research shows that this usage in fact dates back to the middle of the 19th century (1864):

5. A person authorized to vote in an election (by post, by proxy, etc.) although absent at the time; an absentee voter.

Indeed, all of the new senses of the noun were current when the original entry for absentee was published in OED1 back in 1884, but editorial policy and the lack of data meant that they were not covered. As a result, a rather one-sided picture of absentee was all that could be given.

There is one further shift in emphasis in the word’s use that deserves to be mentioned. In OED1 the word absentee was presented as a noun. Quasi-adjectival uses (described as ‘attributive’ uses of the noun) may be found hidden within the quotations provided, but there was not enough evidence to introduce an adjectival branch to the entry.

For OED3 a second structural branch has been created for adjectival uses, though in standard English absentee still cannot be used in the predicate (i.e. you can’t say ‘the landlord was absentee’). These adjectival uses split further into three categories. The first, dating from the late 18th century, is defined:

1. That is an absentee; designating a person who is absent from his or her country, home, property, or place of employment, either habitually or on a particular occasion. Freq. in absentee landlord, absentee voter.

The second related to absent parents (and is first recorded as long ago as 1860):

2. Designating a parent who is frequently or permanently absent from the home and does not participate significantly in the upbringing of his or her children. Freq. in absentee father, absentee mother.

And the final adjectival use dates from slightly later in the 19th century:

3. Designating a method of casting a vote (by post, by proxy, etc.) in the absence of the voter. Of a vote: the total number of votes cast in this way; (also) a single vote cast in this way. Chiefly in absentee vote, absentee voting. See also absentee ballot at Special uses.

Derivates of absentee have also been around for many years: absenteeism since 1821 and absenteeship since 1777. Even the ‘reverse’ of absentee, presentee, comes from the 19th century, when Mark Twain remarks enigmatically in the American Claimant (1892, p. 211):

There was an absentee who ought to be a presentee—a word which she meant to look out in the dictionary.

Perhaps the most recent influence that absentee has had on the language is the word presenteeism (revised last year), but even there the term is recorded from 1931!

So the full revision of absentee shows a word which originated in English in the early 16th century, based on an earlier medieval use in Anglo-Norman. Changes were happening to the word in the 18th and 19th centuries, and at the same time the adjectival use was strengthening. Developments have been relatively quiet in the 20th and 21st centuries, but the term remains an integral and often-used part of the language.


OED records the human condition

Man was revised back in the year 2000. Now we have turned our attention to human. Whereas man is a word of Germanic origin, human derives from the Romance languages, and did not enter English until the late Middle Ages. Semantically its basic range is small, but within this the revised entry documents the interrelationship of humans with each other, with God, and with animals. Since at least the 16th century human has been important in compounds of which it is the first element, and herein lies much of the additional interest of the entry: human interest itself, human being, human rights, the human condition, human error, human relations, and the human race. Scientific investigation has given us (amongst others) human BSE, the human growth hormone, and the human immunodeficiency virus; more generalist concerns provide a human chain, human cannonball, human pyramid, and many other terms. By the beginning of the 16th century a variant spelling of humanhumane – was becoming established with a slightly different set of meanings, and the entries track the emergence and development of these parallel forms, alongside the words humanitarian, humanism, humanity, humanize, etc.

Each of these words has its own ‘shape’ or profile, which is reflected in its dictionary entry. The oldest of these keywords, life and live, have been current and productive in English since the Old English, Anglo-Saxon period. Life itself is a complex term, documenting humanity’s relationship with its mortality, with eternity, and with our fellow creatures on Earth. Its nuanced meanings started to emerge at the earliest period of its existence in English, and from the Old English period it became established in various syntactic constructions, phrases, and compounds. From the 16th century, life compounds became more widespread, and this aspect of its history has remained vibrant up to the present day.

The profiles of human and social are slightly different. Both emerged in English towards the end of the Middle Ages, though social is at first recorded only in the (now obscure Latinate) sense ‘relating to wars between allies’. But by the 16th century both were firmly set on a road which is more familiar to us today. Both were important words in the 16th century, as was community. But human tended to enter into noun-phrase compounds earlier than social. So from the 16th and 17th centuries we find human affairs, human being, the human condition, human error, the human race, and human rights.

The ‘shape’ of social was rather different, as its entry shows. It was relatively unproductive of new meanings and compounds in the 16th and 17th centuries, but became more productive again (as did community) from the 18th century onwards. Both are words which involve a more advanced awareness of the place of humans in society than does human itself, and this reflective characteristic allowed the terms to flourish as Britain, and Europe, began to consider more actively the economic and political aspects of society.

In terms of compounding, social seems to have experienced a boost from the late 18th and early 19th centuries as a result of the growing social and economic discussions in print throughout Europe (and particular in France and Germany) at the time. It may not be illusory to see a new wave of compounding in English as a result of borrowing or loan translation from these two languages throughout the 19th century. Early compounds in English are often of a simplistic nature, in which the meaning of the compound is evident from the sum of its parts, whereas in the later period more terms seem to be available to join in complex compounds than had been the case in Elizabethan or Jacobean English.

Acid and alkali demonstrate similar profiles. Although alkali is recorded earliest in English (from the medieval period), and in general shows sense developments slightly earlier than acid, both became more established in chemical discourse with the emergent scientific advances of the 17th and 18th centuries. Again early compounds are relatively simple in nature, but prolific scientific advance in the 19th century and beyond brought both words to a new level of significance in the language.


The importance of context: a short case study

Pal (an accomplice; a friend or mate) is one of the words that entered English from Romani (what would have been earlier described as gypsy language). The word was first recorded in the OED from 1682, and our first example was discovered by Frederick Furnivall in the late 19th century in a document which he referred to as a Hereford Diocesan Registry.

1682 is a possible date for the introduction of a Romani word into English. Several are noted earlier: it’s thought that naskin (a prison), recorded first in 1673, is one, and Romani is one of the possible sources from mort (originally a canting term for a girl or woman, and subsequently a harlot or prostitute). But according to the OED record most Romani words are documented only from the second half of the 18th century or later.

The 1682 reference to pal had been accepted in OED3 from earlier editions of the dictionary. The document in which the term was said to be found had not been traced, and was presumed lost. So when a correspondent asked us for further information about this 1682 reference to pal we decided to push the research one stage further.

The archive most likely to house the missing document was the Herefordshire Records Office, and correspondence with the archivist there had failed to uncover the relevant manuscript source. Armed with a short list of the other quotations cited by the OED from the same source, and with a firm conviction that the Records Office would contain the right source somewhere, I headed off for Hereford one day just before Christmas.

There are no documents in the archive’s catalogue described as a Hereford Diocesan Registry (or Register). The archivist kindly brought out four likely sources, but a rapid inspection showed that they were false leads. After some discussion he headed back to the stacks, and soon returned with another text, containing depositions made for cases heard at the Hereford Consistory Court between 1680 and 1682. He thought this was a long shot, but as soon as I saw the faint label on the spine reading ‘ Hereford Diocesan R…’ I knew we were probably on the right track.

A hour later I was looking at the correct deposition, which turned out to be ‘a part of a discourse between Mr Broughton and Mrs Allmoore’, recording events which took place during the day of Sunday 29 January 1682.

But there is a twist to this. When I saw the document, I felt there was something wrong. OED regarded the early uses of pal as occurring in criminal contexts – a partner in crime. But the two people represented in the document did not seem to be hardened underworld criminals, even though the deposition related to a court case.

I ordered a copy of the text, and returned to Oxford, pleased at least to have pinned down the missing reference.

When the copy of the text arrived in Oxford from the archive several days later, we were able to take a closer look at the full context. The situation described was a sad one: Ed Broughton was accused of adultery with Mary Allmoore; they had had a child, which she had apparently passed off as her husband’s until a letter to her from Ed had come to light. Hence the trouble they were in.

But these weren’t hardened gangsters who might use secret underworld slang. They seemed to be fairly upstanding members of the Herefordshire community caught in a pickle.

The importance of looking at all aspects of the lexical evidence was brought home to us as we realized that pal (spelt pall in the source) was not in fact the Romani word, but a common 17th-century variant of Mary Allmoore’s first name. She refers to Ed twice in the document as ‘Nedde’, and he refers to her twice as ‘pall’ (lower case). There seems no doubt now that pal here is simply a variant form of the pet-name Poll, a by-form of the name Mary (compare Moll, and the link between Peg and Meg). The connection is explained at OED’s entry for POLL n.2

So the earliest reference to pal in the OED now moves forward to the late 18th century, and the importance of understanding the fuller social context of a snippet of conversation recorded in an old document is yet again highlighted.


Shakespeare could have been a ‘playwright’

OED1 listed the earliest reference to the word playwright as 1687. When we came to revise the entry we were able to include an earlier reference (from 1616) from an epigram published by Ben Jonson in the edition of his collected works of that year (the year of Shakespeare’s death).

Then towards the end of 2008 a correspondent in France emailed the OED with a further potential antedating, from the set of commendatory poems included in the first edition of Ben Jonson’s Sejanus his Fall in 1605.

Sure enough, the proposed antedating proved to be valid, and has been added to the OED’s entry for playwright.

It was odd that the original OED readers in the 19th century missed the 1616 Jonson reference, but these things happen. But it was perhaps less surprising that the earlier quotation was overlooked. Many modern editions of classic Elizabethan and Jacobean plays simply publish the text itself, omitting the accompanying material which was so commonly published alongside this. With the wider availability nowadays of online versions of texts, which include the full contents from the first to the last page, supplementary material has achieved a greater visibility, allowing new discoveries to be made and added to the record of English.

John Simpson

Chief Editor, Oxford English Dictionary

List of new words

  • abience, n.
  • ab inconvenienti, adv.
  • abintestate, adv.
  • ab intestato, adv.
  • abiogenesist, n.
  • abiologic, adj.
  • abiologically, adv.
  • abiology, n.
  • abiu, n.
  • abjad, n.
  • abjuring, n.
  • abjuring, adj.
  • ablatively, adv.
  • abled, adj. and n.
  • ablow, adv. and prep.
  • abmigrate, v.
  • abob, adj.
  • abobbed, n.
  • aborad, adj. and adv.
  • aborter, n.
  • aboundingly, adv.
  • aboutness, n.
  • above-noted, adj.
  • Abrahamical, adj.
  • Abrahamically, adv.
  • abrasable, adj.
  • abrasure, n.
  • abraum, n.
  • abripe, v.
  • Abruzzese, n. and adj.
  • Abruzzian, n. and adj.
  • Absaroka, n.
  • abscessation, n.
  • absconce, v.2
  • abscondent, n.
  • absenty, n.
  • absinthiate, adj.
  • absinthites, n.
  • absolvement, n.
  • acanthocephalid, adj. and n.
  • Acehnese, n. and adj.
  • acepromazine, n.
  • acerbation, n.
  • acerbitous, adj.
  • acerbly, adv.
  • acerola, n.
  • acesulfame, n.
  • acetifying, n.
  • acetifying, adj.
  • acetocarmine, n.
  • acetogen, n.
  • acetohexamide, n.
  • acetozone, n.
  • acetum, n.
  • acetylacetonate, n.
  • acetylacetone, n.
  • acetylcysteine, n.
  • acetyltransferase, n.
  • acharya, n.
  • Achates, n.
  • achenium, n.
  • achete, n.
  • achrist, n.
  • Achumawi, n. and adj.
  • achy-breaky, adj.
  • acicule, n.
  • acid house, n.
  • acidified, adj.
  • acidimetric, adj.
  • acidization, n.
  • acidized, adj.
  • acidogenic, adj.
  • acidolysis, n.
  • acidophilia, n.
  • acid tongue, n.
  • acidulant, n.
  • acidulate, adj.
  • acidy, adj.
  • acinetan, adj. and n.
  • Acinetobacter, n.
  • acne vulgaris, n.
  • acoel, n. and adj.
  • acoelous | acelous, adj.
  • aconitase, n.
  • aconitum, n.
  • actinopod, n. and adj.
  • Actinopoda, n.
  • aeronef, n.
  • alkali, v.
  • alkalied, adj.1
  • alkalied, adj.2
  • alkaliferous, adj.
  • alkalimetrically, adv.
  • alkalinized, adj.
  • alkalinizing, n.
  • alkalotic, adj.
  • alkamine, n.
  • alkanethiol, n.
  • alkanol, n.
  • Alka-Seltzer, n.
  • alkathene, n.
  • alkenone, n.
  • alkoxide, n.
  • alkoxy, adj.
  • alkoxy-, comb. form
  • alkoxyl, n.
  • alkylamine, n.
  • alkylammonium, n.
  • alkylidene, n.
  • allegoristic, adj.
  • allergenicity, n.
  • Apicomplexa, n.
  • apicomplexan, adj. and n.
  • aschelminth, adj. and n.
  • Aschelminthes, n.
  • blastemic, adj.
  • Brachiopoda, n.
  • bryozoologist, n.
  • bryozoology, n.
  • Chaetognatha, n.
  • chelicera, n.
  • Chelicerata, n.
  • Ciliophora, n.
  • Coelentera, n.
  • comms, n.
  • communar, n.
  • communautaire, adj.
  • communibus annis, adv.
  • communitas, n.
  • communitive, adj.1
  • consumerization, n.
  • consumer unit, n.
  • ctene, n.
  • Echinoderma, n.
  • Echiura, n.
  • echiuran, adj. and n.
  • Ectoprocta, n.
  • entoproct, adj. and n.
  • Entoprocta, n.
  • gastrotrich, n. and adj.
  • Gastrotricha, n.
  • gnathostomulid, n. and adj.
  • Gnathostomulida, n.
  • Hemichordata, n.
  • humanitarianizing, adj.
  • humanly, adj.
  • hypoglycin, n.
  • kinorhynch, n. and adj.
  • Kinorhyncha, n.
  • lifeguarded, adj.
  • lifeguarding, n.
  • life sentence, n.
  • lifestyler, n.
  • liminality, n.
  • Livarot, n.
  • liveaboard, adj. and n.
  • livery and bait, n.
  • Loricifera, n.
  • napelline, n.
  • napelline, adj.
  • rhizopodial, adj.
  • Rhombozoa, n.
  • Sipuncula, n.
  • Sipunculida, n.
  • social construct, n.
  • social constructionism, n.
  • social constructionist, n. and adj.
  • social constructivism, n.
  • social constructivist, adj. and n.
  • socio-economical, adj.
  • socio-economics, n.
  • socio-economist, n.
  • socio-economy, n.
  • socius criminis, n.
  • Sporozoa, n.
  • Tardigrada, n.
  • Tetrapoda, n.
  • Trilobita, n.
  • Uniramia, n.
  • uniramian, adj. and n.
  • Urochordata, n.
  • walker’s soap, n.
  • walkie-talkie, v.

In addition to these new entries, a number of new subordinate entries were added to existing entries. These included:

  • (Under ability, n.)
    • ability group
    • ability grouping
  • (Under ablation, n.)
    • ablation area
  • (Under able-bodied, adj. and n.)
    • able-bodied seaman
  • (Under ablute, v.)
    • abluting
  • (Under abneural, adj.)
    • abneurally
  • (Under abortion, n.)
    • abortion on demand
    • abortion pill
    • abortion storm
  • (Under Abraham, n.)
    • Abraham cove
  • (Under abrasion, n.)
    • abrasion resistance
    • abrasion-resistant
  • (Under abscise, v.)
    • abscised
  • (Under abscission, n.)
    • abscission zone
  • (Under absolute, adj., (adv.), and n.)
    • absolute addressing
    • absolute auction
    • absolute brightness
    • absolute convergence
    • absolute monarch
    • absolute pardon
  • (Under acetic, adj.)
    • acetic fermentation
  • (Under acetify, v.)
    • acetified
  • (Under acetoacetic, adj.)
    • acetoacetic ether
  • (Under achievement, n.)
    • achievement gap
    • achievement orientation
    • achievement-oriented
  • (Under acicular, adj.)
    • acicularity
  • (Under acid, adj. and n.)
    • acid anhydride
    • acid bath
    • acid bomb
    • acid drainage
    • acid mine drainage
    • acid hydrolase
    • acid hydrolysis
    • acid indigestion
    • acid mantle
    • acid phosphate
    • acid reflux
    • acid-resistant
    • acid-resisting
    • acid-soluble
    • acid stomach
    • acid suppressant
    • acid-suppressing
    • acid-sweet
    • acid-tolerant
    • acid-washed
    • acid-fried
    • acid-catalysed
    • acid-etched
    • acid etching
    • acid-neutralizing
    • acid-producing
  • (Under acidimetric, adj.)
    • acidimetrically
  • (Under acidize, v.)
    • acidizable
    • acidizing
  • (Under acid tongue, n.)
    • acid-tongued
  • (Under acknowledgement | acknowledgment, n.)
    • acknowledgement card
    • acknowledgement form
  • (Under Actinopoda, n.)
    • actinopodan
  • (Under alkali, n. and adj.)
    • alkali basalt
    • alkali blue
    • alkali desert
    • alkali feldspar
    • alkali flat
    • alkali salt
    • alkali soil
  • (Under alkaline, adj. and n.)
    • alkaline battery
    • alkaline cell
    • alkaline earth metal
    • alkaline phosphatase
  • (Under alkylating, adj.)
    • alkylating agent
  • (Under alkyl, n.)
    • alkyl halide
  • (Under allergenic, adj.)
    • allergenically
  • (Under allergic, adj.)
    • allergically
  • (Under Chaetognatha, n.)
    • chaetognathous
  • (Under Ciliophora, n.)
    • ciliophoran
  • (Under communication, n.)
    • communication gap
    • communication receiver
    • communications director
    • communications manager
    • communications receiver
    • communications skills
    • communication centre
    • communication device
    • communication link
    • communication medium
    • communication network
    • communication room
    • communication service
    • communication system
    • communication technology
    • communications centre
    • communications device
    • communications link
    • communications medium
    • communications network
    • communications room
    • communications service
    • communications software
    • communications system
    • communications technology
  • (Under communion, n.)
    • communion aisle
    • communion book
    • communion plate
    • communion wafer
  • (Under communist, adj. and n.)
    • communist bloc
    • communist block
    • Communist Party
  • (Under community, n.)
    • community-acquired
    • community action
    • community antenna
    • community antenna television
    • community church
    • community development
    • community education
    • community group
    • community radio
    • community relations
    • community service
    • community council
    • community councillor
    • community dining room
    • community health
    • community kitchen
    • community politics
  • (Under consumer, n.)
    • consumer advocate
    • consumer confidence
    • consumer economy
    • consumer society
    • consumer terrorism
  • (Under consumption, n.)
    • consumption rate
    • consumption weed
    • consumptionism
    • consumption level
    • consumption pattern
  • (Under human, adj. and n.)
    • human biology
    • human bomb
    • human capital
    • human error
    • human face
    • —— with a human face
    • the human face of ——
    • human immunodeficiency virus
    • human pyramid
    • human-readable
    • human scale
    • human service
  • (Under humanistic, adj.)
    • humanistic psychologist
    • humanistic psychology
  • (Under life, n.)
    • life assemblage
    • life companion
    • life cover
    • life energy
    • life event
    • life expectation
    • life imprisonment
    • life mask
    • life savings
    • life skills
    • life stage
    • life system
    • life term
    • life zone
    • life-changing
    • life-extending
    • life-loving
    • life-prolonging
    • life-shortening
    • life model
    • life room
  • (Under lifeboat, n.)
    • lifeboatsman
  • (Under live, adj.1, n., and adv.)
    • live ash
    • livebearing
    • live one
  • (Under live, v.1)
    • to live through ——
    • to live out
  • (Under liver, n.1 and adj.2)
    • liver of sulphur
    • liver chestnut
    • liver-lipped
    • liver lips
    • liverman
    • liver mush
    • liver cancer
  • (Under livery, n.)
    • livery cab
    • livery car
  • (Under Loricifera, n.)
    • loriciferan
  • (Under Rhizopoda, n.)
    • rhizopodist
  • (Under Rhombozoa, n.)
    • rhombozoan
  • (Under social, adj. and n.)
    • social assistance
    • social audit
    • social commentary
    • social commentator
    • social dumping
    • social entrepreneur
    • social entrepreneurship
    • social fund
    • social housing
    • social ladder
    • social library
    • social network
    • social networking
    • social partner
    • social skills
    • social weaver
  • (Under socio-, comb. form)
    • socio-legal
  • (Under sociopathic, adj.)
    • sociopathically
  • (Under Trilobita, n.)
    • trilobitan
  • (Under walk, n.1)
    • walk of shame
    • walk test
  • (Under walk, v.)
    • to walk around
    • to walk into ——
    • to walk into (a person’s) affections
    • to walk on
    • to walk through ——
    • walk-along-Joe
  • (Under walking, adj.)
    • walking boss
    • walking bus
    • walking epidural
    • walking whale
  • (Under walking, n.)
    • walking cast
    • walking chair
    • walking disease
    • walking pneumonia
    • walking-around money
    • walking companion
    • walking holiday

New entries across the alphabet

12 March 2009 also saw the publication of the the following additional new entries and subordinate entries:

  • avoidant, adj.
  • bird-dogging, n.
  • (Under amino-, comb. form)
    • amino-alcohol
  • (Under antisocial, adj.)
    • antisocial personality disorder
  • (Under avoidance, n.)
    • avoidance behaviour
    • avoidance response
  • (Under blood, n.)
    • blood peach
  • (Under bronze, n.)
    • bronze liver
  • (Under cartridge, n.)
    • cartridge fuse
  • (Under Christian, adj. and n.)
    • Christian humanism
  • (Under circuit, n.)
    • circuit board
  • (Under climbing, n.)
    • climbing skin
  • (Under closed, adj.)
    • closed communion
  • (Under credit, n.)
    • credit crunch
  • (Under dead, adj., n.1, and adv.)
    • dead ball
  • (Under dermal, adj.)
    • dermal bone
  • (Under differently, adv.)
    • differently abled
  • (Under dry, adj. and adv.)
    • dry vermouth
  • (Under first, adj., (n.2), and adv.)
    • first communion
  • (Under Florence, n.1)
    • Florence fennel
  • (Under golden, adj.)
    • golden groundsel
    • golden ragwort
  • (Under hereditary, adj. and n.)
    • hereditary peer
    • hereditary peerage
  • (Under Indo-, comb. form1)
    • Indo-Aryan
  • (Under secular, adj. and n.)
    • secular humanism
    • secular humanist
  • (Under surface, n.)
    • surface-harden
    • surface-hardened
    • surface hardening
  • (Under sweet, adj. and adv.)
    • sweet vermouth
  • (Under theoretical, adj. and n.)
    • theoretical linguistics
  • (Under vegetable, adj.)
    • vegetable alkaloid
  • (Under volatile, n. and adj.)
    • volatile acidity
  • (Under wave, n.)
    • wave-cut platform

Finally, new meanings were added to the following entries:

  • assistant, adj. and n.
  • concrete, adj. and n.
  • liminal, adj.
  • local, adj. and n.
  • locally, adv.
  • shirt, n.
  • suck, v.