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Oxford Dictionaries Adds Definition of ‘Blockchain,’ Following the Inclusion of ‘Cryptocurrency’ Term Last Year

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
Oxford Dictionaries Adds Definition of ‘Blockchain,’ Following the Inclusion of ‘Cryptocurrency’ Term Last Year
Photo:Pablo Fernández/Flickr

OxfordDictionaries.com has updated its database with 46 new informal words, including “blockchain” and “miner”.

On Thursday, an online English dictionary OxfordDictionaries.com has published a new blog post featuring a list of new informal words that were added to its database.  Among the new 46 definitions released in the August update are such bitcoin terms as “blockchain” and “miner”.

“A digital ledger in which transactions made in bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are recorded chronologically and publicly,” the definition of the word “blockchain” reads. Meantime, a miner is described as “a person who obtains units of a cryptocurrency by running computer processes to solve specific mathematical problems.”

The blockchain is getting more popular among the financial institutions, which are studying the technology with an aim of integrating it in the near future. The addition of the term shows the rising usage of the word as well as its high significance.

Two years ago, the website included a term “bitcoin”, which was defined as “a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank.” One year later, it also added a definition of “cryptocurrency”, what demonstrated the growing importance of the term in the media. In addition to the definition of digital currency, the website offered example sentences that helped to better understand the meaning of the term.

In view of the recent events in the global political arena, OxfordDictionaries added such terms as Brexit and Grexit, which mean the potential departure of the United Kingdom and Greece from the European Union.

The other words added as part of the latest update include “Redditor”, “subreddits” and “spear phishing”. Redditor was defined as “a registered user of the website Reddit”, which is quite popular among the bitcoin fans.   “In a popular Ask Reddit thread on Tuesday, Redditors shared their true feelings about their office lives,” an example sentence reads. Meantime, the term “subreddits” was described as “forums dedicated to specific topics.”

The definition of the other technology-related term “spear phishing” means “the fraudulent practice of sending emails ostensibly from a known or trusted sender in order to induce targeted individuals to reveal confidential information”.

Such new words as “pocket-dial” and “butt-dial” are used to describe the situation when a number is dialed by mistake while the device is in the pocket.

According to the Head of Dictionary Projects at Oxford Dictionaries, Angus Stevenson, new words are added to the dictionary only if there is enough evidence that it is widely used in the English language.

Owned by Oxford University Press, the dictionary is monitoring how the English language is used in a wide range of sources, including newspapers, literary novels, magazines, emails, blogs and social media.

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Polina Chernykh

Polina is an undergraduate student at Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU) where she is studying at the faculty of International Business Communication for a degree specializing in Intercultural Communication. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, music and travelling.

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