“Words can come and go in a language, but those that show staying power and increasing use need to be recorded and described.”
– A post on the Merriam-Webster website announcing the nonbinary pronoun “they” as an entry in its dictionary.
Merriam-Webster acknowledges that “they” has been used a singular pronoun consistently since the late 1300s. The organization also notes it has evidence of the nonbinary “they” dating back to 1950, and that it’s likely there are earlier uses of the nonbinary pronoun. Merriam-Webster’s latest batch of updates includes 533 new words and meanings.