Macquarie Dictionary Fifth Edition

Oct 27, 2009

The Macquarie Dictionary Fifth Edition is here!

We’re proud of our lingo: its earthy origins and dry flowerings, its laconic capture of past and prospect. We proudly mystify outsiders with our affectionate misnamings, our trimmings and parings...The Macquarie speaks uniquely of Australian passage, and the evolution of our life in this place. It speaks more broadly of the way language places us. Our words mark us out as belonging.
-- Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Foreword, Fifth Edition.

Since its first publication in 1981, the Macquarie Dictionary has backed Australia’s efforts to defeat the cultural cringe. It has seen, like, the Americanisation of, like, words from, ya’know. It has adjudicated disputes between the old-school and the new-skool. It has lovingly embraced all the new words that continually come to the fore with its annual Macquarie Word of the Year and, like an old friend, it is trustworthy and loyal to the Australian vernacular.

The ever-evolving language spoken in Australian schools, workplaces and homes is what makes the Macquarie Dictionary unique. Its coverage of Australian English improves with each passing edition, so that the Macquarie Dictionary Fifth Edition (November 2009) is the most comprehensive and reliable account of Australian English as it has been, and as it is to date. The growing concern about climate change has led to an emphasis on the environment, prompting the inclusion of many new words relating to our environment, renewable energy and sustainable development.


The Fifth Edition features:

  • the complete record of English as it is used in Australia, from the colourfully colloquial to the highly technical
  • thousands of new words and senses, such as animateur, baby bump, breadcrumb navigation, celeblog, click-and-morar, ecosophy, first-person shooter, flashpacker, freeconomics, gene bank, toxic debt
  • words relating to the environment and climate change, such as acid shock, bioethanol, climate wars, convservation village, ecological footprint, ecowarrior, emissions market, global commons
  • encyclopedic entries such as Astrid Lingren Melorial Award, Ban Ki-moon, Barangaroo, Black Saturday, Earth Hour, Great Pacific Garbage Parch, Large Hadron Collider, Stephanie Rice, Geoffry Gurrumul Yunupingu
  • illustrative phrases, many from Australian literature, which clearly show how a word is used in context
  • words and phrases from regional Australia, such as black snowhydro polemaisonettemarronmusset hutnointerschnitter
  • extensive usage notes
  • etymologies of words and phrases 


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