Merriam-Webster dictionary mocks Ivanka Trump with 'complicit' definition

President Donald Trump’s daughter did not appear to know what complicit means despite being widely accused of being so by her critics

Maya Oppenheim
Wednesday 05 April 2017 10:36
Ivanka Trump: 'I don’t know what it means to be complicit'

Ivanka Trump has been mocked by Merriam-Webster dictionary for appearing to not know what the word “complicit” means.

President Donald Trump’s daughter, who is said to be his “favourite”, was impersonated by Scarlett Johansson in a Saturday Night Live sketch cuttingly titled “complicit” last month. The faux perfume advert which quickly went viral suggested the first daughter was complicit in the actions of the Trump administration.

Ms Trump has now been pressed about accusations of complicity and suggestions she has been involved in morally questionable activities.

“I don't know what it means to be complicit,” she told CBS on Tuesday in her first interview since taking up an official role in the White House. “But you know, I hope time will prove that I have done a good job and much more importantly that my father’s administration is the success that I know it will be.”

Merriam-Webster, a prestigious dictionary founded in the mid-1800s, has weighed in on Ms Trump’s apparent inability to define “complicit”.

"'Complicit' is trending after Ivanka Trump told CBS 'I don’t know what it means to be complicit,'" Merriam-Webster said on Twitter. The dictionary also included a link to the definition of the word which is defined as "helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way."

“If being complicit ... is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I'm complicit," Ms Trump also used the interview to say.

“I don't know that the critics who may say that of me, if they found themselves in this very unique and unprecedented situation that I am now in, would do any differently than I am doing,. So I hope to make a positive impact.”

The dictionary was not the only party to offer Ms Trump, a former executive of the Trump Organisation, a definition of the word. “Complicit... that, that's the new fragrance from Chanel right?” quipped another.

This is by means the first time Merriam-Webster has subtly mocked the Trump administration. After reports emerged the first daughter, who has been accused of failing to stand up to her father, would be joining the administration as an official government employee last week, Merriam-Webster tweeted: “Nepotism’ is our #15 lookup right now.”

What’s more, while evidence built of Mr Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, Merriam-Webster provided a definition of “dossier” and pronounced that “disinformation” comes from the Russian “dezinformatsiya.”

The dictionary also gently reminded Kellyanne Conway, a senior Trump advisor, of the definition of feminism in February.

After Ms Conway, the first woman to run a successful US presidential campaign, said she does not consider herself a feminist “in a classic sense” because the term is associated with being “anti-male” and “pro-abortion”, the dictionary intervened. They said Feminism is defined as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities".

Just some other examples of their contributions include their polite tip that Mr Trump’s preferred word “big league’ is rarely used as an adverb” and their assertion that “ombre” is not the same as “hombre.”

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