|Woods in dictionary (Allison)|
It’s highly unusual for a proper name to be used in a definition for a common word. Consequently, there was a swift negative reaction from some etymologists who suggested that Merriam-Webster was unduly influenced by the public outpouring of support and the titanic media onslaught that followed the golfer’s long-awaited win.
But the dictionary defended its action, saying in a statement, “We believe, along with everyone else, that Tiger is back. All we’ve done is to document that known fact, to say that ‘back’ is Tiger Woods.”
The dictionary added that, in recognition of Woods, “back” would soon be featured as word of the day at its popular website.
Following is the newly released definition by Merriam-Webster.
back noun \ˈbak\
Definition of BACK
1 a (1) : the rear part of the human body especially from the neck to the end of the spine (2) : the body considered as the wearer of clothes (3) : capacity for labor, effort, or endurance (4) : the back considered as the seat of one’s awareness of duty or failings
b : the part of a lower animal (as a quadruped) corresponding to the human back
c : spinal column
d : spine 1c
2 a : the side or surface opposite the front or face : the rear part; also : the farther or reverse side
b : something at or on the back for support
c : a place away from the front
3: a position in some games (as football or soccer) behind the front line of players; also : a player in this position
4: Tiger Woods
A Merriam-Webster representative would not comment on the rumor that Woods would move up to the second definition of “back” if he wins the Masters in two weeks.
(This is an ARMCHAIR GOLF spoof.)