An Iconic Fall Flavor Has Officially Entered The Dictionary

We would like to give a special shoutout to our fellow pumpkin spice lovers on this victorious day. The ones who order the PSL the moment it drops at Starbucks, the ones who look forward to Trader Joe's Pumpkin Palooza every year, and the ones who just can't get enough pumpkin spice (for a scientific reason) have finally made their mark: Pumpkin spice is officially in the dictionary just in time for fall.

Merriam-Webster added a total of 370 new phrases and words to the dictionary this September, with pumpkin spice being one of many fresh food terms. According to the language resource, terms like "oat milk," "plant-based," "bahn mi," and "mojo" are all part of the dictionary now. In Merriam-Webster's explanation for why these terms necessitated a dictionary update, it said, "When many people use a word in the same way, over a long enough period of time, that word becomes eligible for inclusion." Considering the fact that #pumpkinspice has more than 1.3 billion views on TikTok alone, that makes perfect sense.

Welcome to the dictionary, pumpkin spice

Merriam-Webster defines pumpkin spice as "a mixture of usually cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and often allspice that is commonly used in pumpkin pie," but fans of the flavor blend know it can be so much more. Although the term was initially used to describe the spices added to pumpkin pie, it took a dramatic turn with the release of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003. As the PSL increased in popularity, so did the phrase "pumpkin spice" (via Food & Wine). Ever since, the term has dominated more and more products as corporations try to keep up with pumpkin spice consumption during the autumn months. As soon as fall starts showing its colored leaves, food, drinks, and even household products like candles and soap begin to flaunt that pumpkin spice pizzaz.

Nowadays we've tried everything from pumpkin spice cream cheese and waffles to chips and Spam. With pumpkin spice cementing itself as the beloved flavor of fall, Merriam-Webster has decided to allow the phrase to finally be recognized officially — although sources like NPR say it's "sus" that the dictionary didn't do so several years sooner. We knew you could do it eventually, pumpkin spice.