Getting “Peacebuilding” in the Dictionary

Warmonger, despot, brutality, warfare – all of these words are in the dictionary, and for good reason. It’s important to have the words to express the world around us, particularly those related to violent conflict, which is on the rise around the world and one of the leading causes of human suffering. But it’s also important to be able to talk about how we can build peace.

The campaign to put “peacebuilding” in English-language dictionaries started in 2018. Thanks to the campaigning of the Coalition — of which PeaceNexus is a member — Cambridge, HarperCollins and Macmillan publishers have all added “peacebuilding” to their English-language dictionaries. HarperCollins made peacebuilding its word of the day for Peace Day 2018, and the Oxford English Dictionary are considering the word. The campaign sponsored two successful public awareness events, generated over 70,000 social media impressions, and made critical foundational steps towards one of the campaign’s ultimate goals of “establishing peacebuilding in public discourse, politics, and policy as a primary method for addressing violent conflict.”