Merriam-Webster adds ‘they’ as nonbinary pronoun


Merriam-Webster announced Tuesday that it has added the nonbinary pronoun “they” to its dictionary.

The nonbinary pronoun is now listed as one of four definitions of the word by the online dictionary company.

Merriam-Webster defines “they” as “used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.”

Describing the word in a sentence, Merriam-Webster writes: “I knew certain things about … the person I was interviewing.… They had adopted their gender-neutral name a few years ago, when they began to consciously identify as nonbinary — that is, neither male nor female. They were in their late 20s, working as an event planner, applying to graduate school.”{mosads}

Other longstanding definitions of “they” as a pronoun in the Merriam-Webster dictionary are those referring to people generally or as a group, or referring to an indefinite third-person, such as “No one has to go if they don’t want to.”

Last week British singer Sam Smith announced their usage of the personal pronouns of “they” and “them.”

Tags Gender-neutral pronouns Merriam-Webster Merriam-Webster Non-binary gender

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