Words No longer in dictionary

9 Words No Longer in the Dictionary

From Word Genius

The English language is comprised of thousands and thousands of words (more than 170,000 in the Oxford English Dictionary). But as language evolves and new vocabulary (including slang) is coined, older words that have fallen out of favor are continually retired and removed from dictionaries.

So, is a word no longer a word once it’s been removed from a dictionary? Maybe. Maybe not. In either case, here are 9 such words, recently removed from dictionaries.


A British term referring to a landing field for airplanes and related structures (e.g., hangars). The word “airport” has since replaced it.


This is an obsolete term for psychiatry, which is the study and treatment of mental illnesses. It’s a fair assumption this term was phased out due to the offensive connotation of connecting the word “alien” with mentally ill patients.


To brabble is to squabble, quarrel, argue, or fight. Considering the number of synonyms readily available for this one word, retiring it was for the best. 


From French, meaning wagon with benches, this combination of a bus and a motor coach was used for sightseeing. This word belongs in historical fiction now. 


Check again, this word is NOT “delicate.” “Deliciate” means to amuse or please oneself by indulging in revels. It does, however, come from the Latin word delicatus, which means delicate. With this confusing etymology, it’s better that this word dropped out of use.


This word was used to describe something that causes cold or is chilling. Today we still have “frigid,” but the older cousin is no longer listed in the OED.


Love shrubs? You could have used this word that means having the appearance of a shrub. It’s no longer listed in the OED, but Merriam-Webster shows it in the bottom 10% of word searches. It was time for this word to meet its retirement. 


It sounds like an advanced form of interrogation, but it means going above and beyond what is required by duty, obligation, or need. Its roots lie in Medieval Latin, and when “supererogation” was first coined, it was primarily used in religious contexts. 


The older definition of this word can refer to a young man or a child. There’s also a former department store founded in 1856 by the name of “Younkers” — now it’s online-only. Otherwise, this one isn’t used anymore.

1 thought on “9 Words No Longer in the Dictionary”

  1. I love words language, spelling….I was a medical secretary and I loved some of the words used and learned through my work. But I have noticed since retiring that lots of words used by my ex bosses are no longer used, and some new ones have come in, like the chemotherapy drugs….I am very glad I retired! Very good timing!
    Still fascinated by the English language however.

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