The English language has about 200,000 words, yet one word is missing from the dictionary. That word is hypergrace.
Why don’t we change that? Why don’t we put hypergrace into the dictionary?
Hypergrace is an important word. It’s a unique word. It’s a word many of us love and many more of us have used. Consider these numbers:
- books about hypergrace: 40 (Amazon)
- videos on hypergrace: nearly 10,000 (Google)
- articles on hypergrace: gazillions (Google)
A word that has gained so much traction ought to be officially recognized. Right?
Ten years ago, no one was talking about hypergrace. Now it has become a shibboleth for the Christian community. If you’ve heard about it, chances are you have an opinion about it.
Grace like snow
If the Eskimos have 20 words for snow, we ought to have at least one word to describe the extreme and radical grace of God. We need a word to capture what the Apostle Paul had in mind when writing about the abundance of God’s grace (literally super-grace) in Romans 5:17 or his abounding grace (literally hyper-super-grace) in Romans 5:20.
Abounding?! Is that the best we can do? God’s grace is so much more than that. At least it was when Paul wrote about it.
The grace of a limitless God is extreme, super-abounding, and over the top. His hypergrace exceeds your wildest dreams.
So why isn’t this word in the dictionary? Are we trying to minimize the grace of God? Are we embarrassed by the riches of his grace? Do we not want people to know how much God loves them and how amazing his grace really is?
Back in July I submitted “hypergrace” to the Oxford English Dictionary. So far I’ve heard nothing back. (I shared the story with patrons.) But this is the OED we’re talking about. They take years to make decisions.
Not so the Urban Dictionary. I submitted hypergrace on Monday and got an acceptance from the editors within 10 minutes. Check it out here, and give it some upvotes!
I have also submitted hypergrace to several other dictionaries where it is pending review. More on that below.
How to get a word into the dictionary
To submit a new word to a dictionary, you have to provide a simple definition of that word. You also have to show how the word can be used in a sentence. This is what I came up with:
Definition (short): God’s super-abounding favor
Definition (long): The extreme favor of God that extends over, beyond, and above what you can conceive or imagine (source: The Hyper-Grace Gospel, p.12)
Use it in a sentence:
- The cross of Jesus demonstrates the hypergrace of God.
- The hypergrace gospel is the revelation of Jesus.
- The hypergrace gospel says all the blessings of God come to us freely as gifts.
What do you think of my definition of hypergrace? Can you come up with a sharper one? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts.
I have submitted hypergrace to six dictionaries. If you believe hypergrace should be in the dictionary, head on over to the following dictionaries and search for it. Words that get searched for get recognized.
If you can think of a dictionary I missed, feel free to submit the word yourself, then let me know about it below. I’ll add your dictionary to the list above.
The hypergrace of God was no secret to the Greek speakers of the New Testament, and it shouldn’t be a secret today. Let’s inject some good news into our language. Let’s encourage the guardians of our lexicons to embrace a big beautiful word that means so much to so many.
Spread the word.
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