The Cambridge Dictionary recently updated its entries for “man” and “woman” to include transgender people.
In addition to “an adult female human being,” the dictionary’s entry for the word “woman” now also includes the definition “an adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth.” A similar change was made to the entry for the word “man.”
The updates were rolled out in October, a spokesperson for the Cambridge Dictionary told ABC News.
However, these changes only made their way to the news after the British newspaper The Telegraph reported on them Tuesday.
Editors made the changes after “careful study,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary spokesperson.
“They carefully studied usage patterns of the word woman and concluded that this definition is one that learners of English should be aware of to support their understanding of how the language is used. The first definition at the entry for woman remains unchanged and continues to be ‘an adult female human being,” they said in a statement.
“Our dictionaries are written for learners of English and are designed to help users understand English as it is currently used. They are compiled by analyzing a large corpus of English texts (over 2 billion words in total) taken from all areas of writing and publishing, which allows us to see exactly how language is used. We regularly update our dictionary to reflect changes in how English is used, based on analysis of data from this corpus,” the spokesperson continued.
Cambridge Dictionary, which is published by the University of Cambridge’s press department, defines transgenderism as “the fact of not having your gender match the body you were born with. This word is often used by people who think that this is a bad thing, or who want to suggest that transgender people are wrong about their gender.”
Nearly 1.64 million people in the United States who are over the age of 13 identify as transgender, according to a Williams Institute study that was published in June.
Both the number and percentage of adults who identified as transgender had “remained steady” since the gender identity public policy-focused think tank of the University of California, Los Angeles’ School of Law last made estimates in 2016 and 2017.
“This report shows trans people live everywhere and their needs and concerns need to be listened to and be addressed in the public policy landscape,” Jody L. Herman, one of the study’s authors, was quoted as saying by Reuters.