Culture Wars /

Twitter Account for Merriam-Webster Dictionary Appears to Subtweet and Attack Kyle Rittenhouse


The Twitter account for the Merriam-Webster Dictionary appeared to jump into the political fray once again — this time attacking Kyle Rittenhouse during his testimony on Wednesday.

In a tweet shortly after Rittenhouse broke down sobbing on the stand and the court had to take a recess, the dictionary’s Twitter account posted the definition of “crocodile tears.”

“The term ‘crocodile tears’ (a superficial display of anguish) comes from a medieval belief that crocodiles shed tears of sadness when killing their prey,” the account tweeted.

At the time that it was tweeted, 2:30 p.m. EST, many left-wing social media users were in an uproar claiming that he was faking his emotion as he testified.

Many were quick to notice that tweeting the term at that moment was unlikely to be a coincidence.

This is not the first time that the dictionary has waded into politics.

In 2016, the dictionary jumped in when then-President Donald Trump misspelled the word “unprecedented” in a tweet.


In 2017, the account “fact-checked” Kellyanne Conway after she described “feminism” as being “very anti-male” and “pro-abortion.”

As a debate about her comments trending on Twitter, the dictionary’s account wrote “‘Feminism’ is defined as ‘the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.'”

They also attacked then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

In May, the dictionary also changed the definition of “anti-vaxxer” to include “a person who opposes vaccination or laws that mandate vaccination.”

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6 responses to “Twitter Account for Merriam-Webster Dictionary Appears to Subtweet and Attack Kyle Rittenhouse”

  1. MNBullsEyeBen says:

    That’s what I thought too.

  2. Laharl says:

    “In May, the dictionary also changed the definition of “anti-vaxxer” to include “a person who opposes vaccination or laws that mandate vaccination.”

    Tells you everything you need to know. They should have added : “synonym : far right”.

  3. prcntm says:

    This is exactly the reason I really don’t like this lurch toward “everything online.” Can you imagine any dictionary trying to recall all physical volumes in order to replace the definition of a single word for a political event? I know it was a primary plot point in 1984, but we’ve actually made it easier to do by relying on a purely online environment for knowledge exchange. Instead of having to recall thousands of physical copies, they just have to make one change in the server and POOF! The word suddenly means exactly what they want it to mean for the occasion happening right now.

    Works marvelously for news stories posted online as well.

  4. USAFgunner says:

    Seems like a business opportunity for the more conservative side of the culture war to open a printing press to make encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other references/books for the non-woke crowd.

  5. Hoid says:

    If they can change definitions as they like, I don’t mind it. Just means words don’t mean anything really.

  6. Toratiger says:

    Its creepier that they update and remove context to word definitions as the culture war rages on.