United Kingdom

'Woke' and 'post-truth' added to Oxford English Dictionary

Oxford English Dictionary delved into the political.

The dictionary added the words “woke” and “post-truth” to its 2017 update.

The words are particularly linked to the 2016 presidential election and issues on race and police shootings. 

“The original meaning of adjectival ‘woke’ (and earlier ‘woke up’) was simply ‘awake,’ but by the mid-20th century, woke had been extended figuratively to refer to being ‘aware’ or ‘well informed’ in a political or cultural sense.” the OED New words notes on June 2017 said.

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The dictionary defines “woke” as “well-informed.”

Now chiefly: Alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice; frequently in stay woke (often used as an exhortation),” the dictionary said.

The use of ‘woke’ was more recently embraced by the Black Lives Matter movement, especially on social media, Time reported.

The 2016 word of the year, “post-truth,” was also entered in the update of the dictionary.

“Evidences an emerging use of ‘post’ prefix forming words denoting that a specified concept has become unimportant or irrelevant,” the dictionary said.

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The dictionary said “post-truth” denotes “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping political debate or public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

In addition to those two words, the word “thing” was given a new meaning as “a genuine or established phenomenon or practice.”

The Oxford English Dictionary publishes quarterly updates, with the next one in September 2017, BBC reported.