However, all-encompassing dictionaries like Oxford or Merriam-Webster’s will likely be marked “archaic,” “historical,” or “obsolete.”
There are more than 170,000 words in the Oxford English Dictionary, and many of those words end up getting phased out of our daily language, causing the revision, or even removal of those words altogether.
There are some less traditional dictionaries that use a “descriptivist” approach, meaning the dictionary represents how the word is used, rather than its classical definition.
Here is a list of 9 words that have recently been removed from the dictionary:
- Aerodrome: A location from which aircraft flight operations take off. This British term has since been replaced by “airport.”
- Alienism: The study and treatment of mental illness. This term has been phased out due to its insensitivity and inaccuracy in reference to those with mental health issues.
- Brabble: To argue stubbornly about trifles.
- Char-à-banc: A large bus used on sightseeing tours, especially one with open sides and no center aisle.
- Deliciate: To delight oneself, to indulge in feasting or revels.
- Frigorific: Causing cold, chilling. Today, we still use the word “frigid.”
- Frutescent: Having or approaching the appearance or habit of a shrub.
- Supererogation: The performance of more work than duty requires.
- Younker: A youngster.
With the English language being one of the languages with the largest number of words comprising it, the absence of a few outdated terms won’t be sorely missed.