macmillan online dictionary shuts down and is immediately forgotten by everyone


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in the middle of 2023 the macmillan online dictionary departed the internet. described the scenario with this headline

14 years after digital debut, Macmillan Dictionary’s website to be shut down

shut down means stop functioning. debut (first appearance) is the same word in spanish & english but the pronunciation is different. in english, u can pronounce it with the accent on either syllable, but DON’T pronounce the “t”  👉 listen to it here

debut appears in a surprising number of songs that u probably recognize, starting with the title of this indie rock banger

cool song, but they don’t actually say debut in the lyrics 😹

u can hear it in all of these tracks though…

the first verse of this steely dan jam says

this is your big debutit’s like a dream come true

dream come true means it happens after u wanted it for a long time.

the second verse of the eric b and rakim classic don’t sweat the technique, starts with

i made my debut in ’86

another popular 90s hip hop track, afro puffs— lyrics inspired by lady of rage‘s hairstyle–uses debut at the beginning of the third verse. listen at 3:28 for…

now ever since my debut, i’ve continued to lay uflat on your back from the raps that I spat, spitoh shit, i’m the shit!

ever since means every moment since lady of rage’s debut. lay u flat on your back means that lady of rage’s raps are overwhelming, they knock u off your feet. spit literally means expel saliva from the mouth. in this context it means say, recite, rap. spat is the irregular past tense. oh shit is an expression of surprise. the shit means exceptional, really cool.

in the phineas and ferb number summer belongs to u, listen at  2:27 for candace to sing…

the world’s a stage and it is time for your debut

the world’s a stage is attributed to shakespeare and means that all humans are actors or must play a role. this is also a belong song 🙀

and most recently, this freddie gibbs freestyle contains another shit expression in the title (it means stuff in this context). gibbs mentions his debut around 1:03 in the video


as the headline above indicates, the digital version of the dictionary was launched in 2009.  three years later macmillan decided to go all in (totally commit) on their digital version.  macmillan education’s publisher for dictionaries, stephen bullon, said this in 2012

our research tells us that most people today get their reference information via their computer, tablet, or phone, and the message is clear and unambiguous: the future of the dictionary is digital

research is systematic investigaiton. because of the inclusion of the object pronoun us, tell is the correct verb. says us is a common mistake. DON’T DO IT. unambiguous means obvious. it is the kind of word u might expect to hear from a dictionary publisher 😸

google doodle of lexicographer samuel johnson--vocabulario en inglés--macmillan

lexicographer samuel johnson was the subject of a google doodle in 2017. johnson’s dictionary, published in 1755, took 9 years to research

11 years later, macmillan decided to discontinue the digital version too. so what happens when a dictionary goes away? not much. the demise of macmillan’s dictionary was barely even reported. an official statement posted on the site on june 30, 2023, served as a modest farewell

since its digital debut in 2009, macmillan english dictionary (MEDO) has served as an indispensable tool for language learners, writers and researchers, offering comprehensive definitions, thesaurus entries and language insights.

however, after careful consideration macmillan education has concluded that it is no longer sustainable to keep the macmillan english dictionary and thesaurus up-to-date and reflective of our values of accessibility, diversity and inclusion.

since means from a specific point in the past. comprehensive means complete, thorough–it does NOT mean understanding, which is the meaning of comprehensivo a very similar looking word in spanish. insight is deep understanding. however, similar to but, is for presenting a contrasting idea. no longer means in the past but not now.

  captain american and nick fury talk project insight--vocabulario en inglés--macmillan online dictionary

in captain america: the winter soldier, project insight presented a cautionary tale about the use of surveillance, big data and algorithms in global security

up to date is another way to say updated, current. reflective is the adjective equivalent of the verb reflect.

the adjective sustainable and the nouns accessibility, diversity and inclusion all have clear equivalents in spanish (ok, there is only one T in sustainable vs two in sustentable 😜) and are fashionable words that make brands attractive to consumers in the 2020s. but even these values couldn’t save the macmillan online dictionary 🙁

meme of a kitty labeled me hugging a kitty labeled my favorite sustainable brands--vocabulario en inglés  meme of a puppy sleeping in a bed text reads how i sleep at night knowing im making small sustainable changes for the planet--vocabulario en inglés

sustainable has become a feel good word

nevertheless, the macmillan team was grateful to the people responsible for creating the dictionary and their users…

the team at macmillan education ltd would like to express our deep gratitude to our loyal users, contributors and partners who have supported us throughout this journey. we are immensely proud of the dictionary’s impact on the language community and sincerely thank everyone who has contributed to its success.

would like to means wants to. gratitude means thanks. loyal means dedicated. throughout means from start to finish. a journey is a challenging process. immensely means extremely. proud means happy about their achievements. its without an apostrophe indicates possessive, NOT the contraction for it is.  in this context its refers to the dictionary.

meme of 7 spidermen labelled with the words throughout, thorough, tough, taught, though, thought, through--vocabulario en inglés

throughout is one of the spidermen in this famous meme (so are though and thorough 🙀)

the final shout out in macmillan’s official statement goes to the experts…

we would also like to thank our dedicated team of lexicographers, developers and support staff who have worked hard to maintain and enhance the dictionary. their dedication and passion for language have been the bedrock of the dictionary’s success.

lexicographers study words and create dictionariesenhance means make better. bedrock means foundation. it’s also the name of the city where the flintstones live. u can hear it several times in this song about a popular dance in bedrock known as the twitch

the reel at the top of the page contains the following vocabulary as indicated via graphics in the video: almost, legacy media, shut down, seem, expunge, remnant, proof, exist, big deala comparative (better than), concise, a superlative (the best), though, wide-ranging, second to none, boomer, would (i’d love to), catch by surprise, corroborate,

do u use online dictionaries? which one do u prefer? why? share your opinion under leave a reply


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