US dictionary Merriam-Webster changes “anti-vaxxer” definition, sparking debate

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US dictionary Merriam-Webster changes
US dictionary Merriam-Webster changes "anti-vaxxer" definition, sparking debate. Credit: Photo by Jordan Bracco on Unsplash

US dictionary Merriam-Webster changes “anti-vaxxer” definition, sparking debate.

US dictionary Merriam-Webster changes “anti-vaxxer” definition, sparking debate among “conspiracy theorists” who believe meanings of words are being redefined on purpose.

As the world comes to terms with the possibility of mandatory vaccinations, many people have noticed that the definition of certain words revolving around the coronavirus pandemic have been changed.

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The definition of the term “anti-vaxxer” is the latest to come under scrutiny.

The term, which was first added to the online dictionary in 2018, was updated in late September this year.

According to Fox News, the current definition found on the Merriam-Webster website omitted the word “laws” from the 2018 version in favour of “regulations.”


The definition still states, however, that an “anti-vaxxer” includes people who oppose such rules on vaccinations or the vaccines, themselves.

The latest definition states: “Definition of anti-vaxxer – a person who opposes the use of vaccines or regulations mandating vaccination,” noting that it was updated on September 29, 2021.

Previously, it read “Definition of anti-vaxxer – A person who opposes vaccination or laws that mandate vaccination.”


New York Times best-selling author Candace Owens commented on the change, stating: “Merriam Webster has updated the definition of “anti-vaxxer” to include people who are against the forced vaccination of others. So you can be quadruple jabbed and still labelled “anti-vaxxed” if you don’t support authoritarian government mandates.

“LOLLLLLLL Merriam-Webster.”

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s press secretary, Christina Pushaw, wrote: “Redefine words all you want Merriam Webster, but WORDS STILL HAVE MEANING. By this definition, you aren’t pro-vaccine unless you believe the government should force everyone to get a medical procedure?”.

Another wrote: “None of us were “anti-vaxxers” until they literally changed the definition to include those who “oppose the use of… regulations mandating vaccination.”

“The most Orwellian thing to happen during this pandemic is the real-time altering of definitions to gaslight the world.”

In April 2021, people claimed that Merriam-Webster changed the definition of “vaccine” – removing the immunity part.

In an Instagram post, a “conspiracy theorist” said that the definition of vaccine “used to be defined as a substances that provides ‘immunity’ to a specific disease,”

“Now, Merriam-Webster has literally changed the definition of ‘vaccine’ and removed the ‘immunity’ portion in order to possibly cover for the fact that the COVID ‘vaccines’ don’t actually provide immunity from COVID.”

However, fact-checkers said that Merriam-Webster revised its “vaccine” definition to replace “immunity” with “immune response.” The change also addresses the new technology of mRNA vaccines in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In other vaccine-related news, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it now needs 75 years to fully release Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine data to the public.


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