Macquarie Dictionary


Word of the Year 2014

The results are in!

We are delighted to announce the winning words of the Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year 2014.

This year’s winner, as selected by the Word of the Year Committee, is mansplain.

The People’s Choice Award goes to share plate. 


The Committee’s Choice for 2014 goes to:


verb (tColloquial (humorous) (of a man) to explain (something) to a woman, in a way that is patronising because it assumes that a woman will be ignorant of the subject matter.
[MAN + (EX)PLAIN with s inserted to create a pronunciation link with explain]

The Committee chose mansplain as the word of the year for 2014. They felt that it was a much needed word and it was a clever coinage which captured neatly the concept of the patronising explanation offered only too frequently by some men to women.


The Committee would like to give honourable mention to:


noun the application of strategies or shortcuts used to simplify or improve any aspect of one’s life.

binge watching

noun the practice of viewing a favourite television series, seeing many episodes in one extended sitting.
Also, binge viewing.

bamboo ceiling

noun a barrier created by prejudice which hampers the progress of Asian Australians to positions of leadership in government and business institutions.
[modelled on GLASS CEILING]


The Commitee would also like to give a dishonourable mention to selfie stick for being inescapable.


The Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year 2014 Committee comprises:

  • Dr Michael Spence (Vice-Chancellor, University of Sydney)
  • Professor Stephen Garton (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Sydney)
  • Anne Bell (Director of University Libraries, University of Sydney)
  • Catriona Menzies-Pike (Arts Editor, The Conversation)
  • John Birmingham (Journalist and author of the cult classic He Died with a Falafel in his Hand, and the award-winning history Leviathan, and After America)
  • Susan Butler (The Editor, Macquarie Dictionary)

The People’s Choice for 2014 goes to:

share plate

share plate

noun a serving in a restaurant designed as multiple small portions so that several diners can share the same dish.

 (artwork by Tania @thewriting)


The runners-up are lifehacking, binge watching and selfie stick.


Category winners:   

 Agriculture  crash grazing
 Arts  binge watching
 Business  drip pricing
 Colloquial  mansplain
 Communications   emoji
 Eating and Drinking   share plate
 Environment  green electricity
 Fashion  loom band
 General Interest  decision fatigue
 Health  ambulance ramping
 Internet  typosquatting
 Politics  defund
 Social Interest  lifehacking
 Sport  urban exploration
 Technology  selfie stick


Download the pdf below to view all the entries considered for Word of the Year 2014. 

The media release is available for download on the News page.

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