Cambridge Dictionary has updated its definitions of ‘man’ and ‘woman’ to make the words inclusive of transgender people. Its definition of ‘man’ now reads: “An adult who lives and identifies as male though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth.” The meaning of ‘woman’ is exactly the same, with the word ‘man’ being substituted for ‘woman’.
Its definitions of a man being “an adult male human being” and a woman being “an adult female human being” both remain in the Cambridge Dictionary.
The addition was made by editors in October, according to a spokesperson who spoke to The Telegraph. “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.” They explained that Cambridge dictionaries “are designed to help users understand English as it is currently used”.
Cambridge Dictionary follows Merriam-Webster updating its definition of ‘female’ and ‘girl’ in 2021 to be inclusive of trans people.