Food News

Merriam-Webster Just Added These 30 Food Words to the Dictionary

February  7, 2017

This morning, Merriam-Webster announced it just added a whopping 1,000 new entries to its dictionary. Some of the additions are turns of phrase that have only more recently become part of wider, mainstream cultural vernacular, from "ghosting" to "throwing shade"; others are such phrases as "safe space" and "microaggression."

Included in this slew of new faces are 30 new food-related words. Browse the list below at your own leisure. I'm honestly a bit flummoxed as to how a good number of these of these weren't in the dictionary already. Oh, well. Welcome to the club, kids.

1. acai

2. Alfredo sauce

3. American chop suey

4. arancini

5. artisanal

6. calamondin

7. chef’s knife

8. chicken mushroom

9. chicken of the woods

10. circus peanut

11. coconut milk

12. coconut water

13. d’Anjou

14. elderflower

15. EVOO

16. farro

17. flatbread

18. food secure

19. food insecure

20. food truck

21. immersion circulator

22. macaron

23. Minneola tangelo

24. noni

25. olericulture

26. red bliss

27. santoku

28. secret sauce

29. Shirley Temple

30. strata

Genuinely curious—what food words would you nominate for next year's batch? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • kim
  • Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles
    Rinku Bhattacharya /Spice Chronicles
  • Jessie Beck
    Jessie Beck
  • Smaug
  • Whiteantlers
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


kim February 8, 2017
Shirley Temple, my goodness I drank them as a little girl 55 years ago. I guess, better late than never.
Rinku B. February 7, 2017
EVOO, who knew?
Jessie B. February 7, 2017
Shirley temple is surprising!
Smaug February 7, 2017
At least they didn't turn "genius" into an adjective.
Whiteantlers February 7, 2017
Mayukh, the word for corn fungus (delicious by the way) is pronounced 'HWEET-la-co-shay' the 'c' in co pronounced like 'c' in cook. I bet Merriam-Webster is just trying to get people to buy dictionaries. I still have the one my uncle gave me for my 10th birthday, several decades ago.
ChefJune February 7, 2017
hmmm never heard of "chicken of the woods" mushrooms. Pretty sure they are called "hen of the woods." No?
amysarah February 7, 2017
A new tuna/mushroom hybrid.
AntoniaJames February 8, 2017
That's so funny, amysarah! ;o)
Christine D. March 30, 2017
They are different mushrooms.
Christine D. March 30, 2017
They are different mushrooms.
Christine D. March 30, 2017
They are different mushrooms.
Mallory M. February 7, 2017
I'm so glad I'm not the only person out there maintaining a list under that heading.