I’ll say it right now: ‘cromulent’ was robbed. While, yes, I acknowledge the positive step being taken by Merriam-Webster in including ’embiggen’ in their dictionary, it seems like a criminal oversight that a word as fine as ‘cromulent’ has been left out.
‘Embiggen’, along with 849 other words, was added to the dictionary by virtue of its continued usage in the English language:
Each word has taken its own path in its own time to become part of our language—to be used frequently enough by some in order to be placed in a reference for all. If you’re likely to encounter a word in the wild, whether in the news, a restaurant menu, a tech update, or a Twitter meme, that word belongs in the dictionary.
The inclusion of ’embiggen’ was lumped in with a bunch of other words deemed to be worthy by their usage online:
Our online lives have given us embiggen and subtweet. Even more colorful language is on display with dumpster fire, used to mean “disaster,” and mansplain, a word that dates back only to 2008 but has quickly shown its utility.
As I am almost certain you are already aware, ’embiggen’ is (well, until now I guess) not a real word, and was introduced in episode 16, season 6 of The Simpsons, in quoted text from Springfield‘s founder, Jebediah Springfield.
The definition on the dictionary’s website puts the word as a transitive verb that means “to make bigger or more expansive” (synonymous with ‘enlarge’ and ‘expand’), so feel absolutely feel free to pepper that throughout your sentences instead of using the actual words that mean that thing.
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