This Super-Rude Dating Behavior Just Got Added To The Dictionary

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
If you've ever gotten into a debate over what exactly constitutes as "ghosting," you can now shut down all your brunch mates with another solid definition. After spending years in the Urban Dictionary archives and being added to dictionary.com last year, the word now also has an official place in the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Ghosting, the noun, and to ghost, the verb, have been added to the dictionary, and have been defined as "the phenomenon of leaving a relationship of some kind by abruptly ending all contact with the other person, and especially electronic contact, like texts, emails, and chats."

"You meet someone at a party and exchange numbers," Merriam-Webster explains. "You go on a few dates, and things seem to be going well. You think things are moving forward — and then you never hear from that person again. They won't answer your texts, phone calls, chat messages. They've ghosted."

Merriam-Webster also acknowledged that the concept of ghosting has existed for long before there was actually a word for it. In fact, the dictionary states, its researchers have tracked early usage of the word ghost back to 2006, when people would set their instant messaging statuses to "invisible" and ignore all texts and phone calls. The word can also mean to "leave suddenly and without saying goodbye," a definition that researchers have tracked all the way back to 2004.

So if you ever get ghosted, you can take comfort in the fact that you're not alone — it's happened to enough people to warrant an official dictionary definition.

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