Merriam-Webster Just Added 'Cisgender' and 'Genderqueer' to the Dictionary

In a win for the LGBTQ+ community, Merriam-Webster just added two new words to the dictionary, Vox reports.


The two words, added to Merriam-Webster's unabridged dictionary in an announcement Wednesday, are "cisgender" and "genderqueer." "Cisgender," considered the opposite of "transgender," refers to someone who identfies with the sex they were biologically labeled at birth, while "genderqueer" refers to someone who does not identitfy as solely male or female. The prefix "cis" comes from the Latin meaning "on this side," according to Merriam-Webster.


You may have been hearing these words for a while by now, and they've actually been around for even longer than you probably realized—Both "cisgender" and "genderqueer" have been in use for over twenty years, dating back to the mid-90s, according to Mic. Their official inclusion in the dictionary hopefully means even more people will be exposed to a greater diversity of language around gender, expanding people's understanding and making our society more inclusive.