Merriam-Webster caught up to activist and scholarly circles this week when it added “Latinx” to its dictionary. 

The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday (September 4) that “Latinx” is one of 840+ words recently added to the dictionary. A new page on the reference book publisher’s website defines “Latinx” as “of, relating to or marked by Latin American heritage—used as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina.”

Many advocacy groups and media outlets (including Colorlines) already use the gender-neutral term.

“It’s important to remember that new words are added to the dictionary only when they have already been used by many people—often initially by specialists or subcultures,” a company blog post says. “Then, gradually, a word’s use spreads to the rest of us.”