Mirriam-Webster Dictionary changes definition of 'assault rifle' too include sporting rifles

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Julio Rosas reports for IJR (Independent Journal Review), April 2, 2018, that on its website, top dictionary resource Merriam-Webster has changed the definition of an assault rifle to include most modern sporting rifles that are popular in the United States.
In 2016, Mirriam-Webster defined “assault rifle” as:

“any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use.”

But Mirriam-Webster now defines “assault rifle” as:

“any of various intermediate-range, magazine-fed military rifles (such as the AK-47) that can be set for automatic or semiautomatic fire; also : a rifle that resembles a military assault rifle but is designed to allow only semiautomatic fire

The new definition is a major change to the term commonly used to describe an AR-15 or any rifle similar to one.
Mirriam-Webster cites commentary on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting of February 14, 2018, in Parkland, Florida, to justify its the new definition:

“The argument is over where the line is to drawn not whether assault rifles as a thing alone should be regulated.” —James Fallows, “As Students ‘March for Our Lives,’ What Are the Feasible Aims for Gun Control?,” The Atlantic, 25 Mar. 2018.
“Almost immediately after the tragedy, a number of survivors leapt headfirst into the Second Amendment debate, noting the shooter’s easy access to a high-velocity assault rifle as one of the main reasons for so many deaths.” —“Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Natalie Portman & More Show Up To Support March For Our Lives,” refinery29.com, 24 Mar. 2018.

IJR reader @Screwtape wrote this very apt comment:

I wonder if Merriam-Webster will now alter the definition of “Orwellian” to include themselves. “also: a group that changes meanings to suit their agenda.”

H/t FOTM‘s Twitter subscriber docepac

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0 responses to “Mirriam-Webster Dictionary changes definition of 'assault rifle' too include sporting rifles

  1. Love the circular left/libtard logic they’re using to justify it.

  2. According to Mirriam-Webster, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, & Natalie Portman, are now firearm experts. Sic Sarc

  3. The whole point of the leftist “long march through the institutions”– so some leftard can point to Mirriam-Webster to define “assault weapon” for some BS anti-gun argument they’re making.

  4. Mirriam-Webster Dictionary changes definition of ‘assault rifle’ “””too””” include sporting rifles


  6. My apologies for the post before, I feel this is important to all of us, if it is not an inconvenience I would like to post a couple of times more, thanks. 😀

  7. How about that! Look y’all, Kwanzaa is a secular festival observed by the African-Americans, why not publish Ebonics, the African-American dialect? it would really make the (left) Democrats happy, betcha Latrine Waters, Frederickka Wilson, Al Sharptongue, Black Lifes Matters and the rest of the “movement” will jump for joy!

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  9. I just sent this the Merriam-Webster –
    Your change to the definition of “Assault Rifle” is in error.
    The original definition was correct.
    In cases where certain words take on colloquial definitions that come into widespread un-challenged use, I see that a change can be appropriate.
    But, in this instance, for a definition which is technical in nature, and the colloquial change is highly challenged, it is most definitely not appropriate.
    If you want to remain the “most-trusted” dictionary, you should refrain from arbitrary changes such as this one.

    • Take a look at photos of Merriam-Webster’s ditsy editorial flakes before calling that leftist shithole with the stolen name the “most trusted” anything. These arrogant leftist snowflakes were caught trolling President Trump, and this latest abuse of the language to promote the far left and homosexualist agenda is Gramscian subversion at its finest. For what it’s worth, Merriam-Webster lists imply and infer as synonyms, which of course they claim is descriptive of current usage, but so outrageous as to imply their intent is undermining thought itself. They also, for example, list flaunt and flout as synonyms. It wasn’t always so, and many people believe the unabridged Second Edition from 80 years ago is still the best.

      • Where is it stated that Merriam-Webster creates legal definitions? That’s a dangerous precedent.

  10. Not unusual definitions of a word can be changed over time as the language evolve and the contemporary usage of the word…..

    • Kevin J Lankford

      Too often it is a political expedience of purposeful deception.
      I think it only fair to add a couple words we are all familiar with, but do not appear in webster’s: falseflag, and crisisdrill.
      Reminds me; I believe the quote “ignorance of the law is no excuse” is attributable to daniel webster. In my opinion it would take a really arrogant S.O.B. to make such a statement, him being a lawyer surrounded by his on library of law books, and then declare citizens have no excuse for not knowing all things.

    • What is unusual is a dictionary obviously taking one side in an ongoing debate about a word’s meaning.

  11. So “commentary” is now the standard for definitions? More like language control BS.
    Doesn’t change the fact that an AR15 is not a military weapon.

    • Yes, that is why they like to get people talking to them. If we simply refused to discuss “weapon types”, “magazine capacities”, etc. and confined ourselves to “what part of shall not be infringed don’t you understand?”, we’d be miles ahead.
      We’ve been down this road before. It leads nowhere. Remember, we don’t need permission and we don’t have to explain anything to them.

    • That’s all very true, but so what if its “military”? I don’t see a caveat to “shall not be infringed”.

  12. Suddenly we are drowning in people who don’t know Jack spewing their beliefs, however illegally, upon us. I would venture to say, not a one of them has ever held a rifle or never attended any educational gun class.
    It is amazing how many word meanings we have had wrong all these years. Dictionaries, Wikileaks, etc, have all had it wrong and are now making the needed changes. Sarc.
    Under dictionary.com you find the meaning of terrorist naming Russians and no other group in the first discription.
    The danger of changing the meanings and descriptions of words and items is beyond the scope of sanity.

  13. They can play all the word games they want, but “assault” can apply to just about anything. I’m sure these lefty-libs would “feel” as assaulted if they were shot by an AR15 or a .22 rifle, a pellet gun, a BB-gun, or smacked on the head with a Webster’s dictionary, punched in the schnoz with a fist, asked to merely look at a “scary” gun, or slapped with a few choice words (verbal assault). Assault is relative. They don’t give a diddly darned about “types” of guns; these tyrannical fools want them all gone.

  14. We’re getting a lesson in what happens when evil controls the narrative. They simply refuse to give voice to any opposition. Then they do as they like.
    They are not going to announce the dictatorship. They never do.

  15. That is eerie.

  16. Okay-How many of us are willing to comply with this tripe? I think it’ll be a tough sell…..

    • I have no intention of doing so. I can’t find any that I’ve registered. Come to think of it, I can’t find the others either. Darn.

    • Comply? Why should we? Mirriam-Webster is not the law.

      • That’s my point-just because “somebody” says something,a large hunk of America takes it as gospel until it’s proven wrong by arrests,prosecutions and long prison sentences.Then it’s “There’s a possibility this isn’t true,but we need a Special Counsel to investigate and see what’s been tampered with….”

  17. Use a knife, go to jail! Then “use a rock, go to jail”. Then, “use a hammer…ad nauseum”

  18. Shan’t be long until we will be defending our right to own straws and make spitballs.
    The totalitarians aren’t after the guns of criminals.
    They want everybody else’s guns.

  19. If you think about it, they are doing at least as much damage daily as they did under Obongo, maybe more. While they’re busy whining about EVERYTHING, they are continuing to push their globalist/communist agenda to the max. I don’t really see any interference with that. How is that possible. Is this not a “Republican” administration?
    There should be zero hold overs from Obongo in government.

  20. Assault already can include just threatening words, so how will they top that?


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