Macquarie Dictionary


Word of the Year 2009

The Committee’s choice of Word of the Year 2009 is:


adjective (of a building or infrastructure project) capable of being initiated immediately as soon as funding is assured.


The Committee would like to give honourable mention to:


verb (i) 1. to post a message on the social network site Twitter.
verb (t) 2. to post such a message to (someone).
noun 3. such a message.


heritage media

noun media, as print newspapers, television, etc., which, although strong and influential in the past, are thought to be losing viability in the face of changing methods of communication. Compare social media.



noun a mixture of natural oils and terpenes released by eucalypts which, when washed by rain into watercourses, is a signal to fish, invertebrates, etc., that the season is sufficiently wet to support breeding. [Greek petros stone + ichor fluid; coined by Australian geochemists Richard Grenfell Thomas and Isabel Joy Bear in 1964]



noun a supporter of a politician or other media figure who stands beside them in the frame of a television shot and nods his or her head in agreement with what the speaker is saying.
head-nodding, noun



noun (plural cyberbullies) 1. a person who bullies another using email, chat rooms, social network sites, etc.
verb (t) (cyberbullied, cyberbullying) 2. to bully (another) in this way. Also, cyber bully, cyber-bully.
cyberbullying, noun


roar factor

noun Sport the influence that a home crowd has on a referee or umpire in making adjudications. [from the roar of protest from the crowd at a perceived infringement by a player]



The Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year Committee comprises:

Dr Michael Spence, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney
Professor Stephen Garton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Sydney
Peter Fray, Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald
Les Murray, renowned Australian poet
Susan Butler, Publisher of the Macquarie Dictionary



The People’s Choice Award for 2009 goes to:


verb (i) 1. to post a message on the social network site Twitter.
verb (t) 2. to post such a message to (someone).
noun 3. such a message.


Category winners:

Agriculture green harvesting
Arts, Literature, Theatre poverty porn
Business elevator speech
Colloquial man crush
Communications tweet
Eating and Drinking truffle dog
Ecology virosphere
Environment bushfire survival plan
Fashion geek chic
General Interest staycation
Health social phobia
Internet noob
Politics slacktivism
Psychology brain fade
Social Interest friend with benefits
Sport roar factor
Technology mashup

Download the pdf below to view all the entries considered for Word of the Year 2009.

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