Singular ‘they’ has been added by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a way to refer to nonbinary individuals who identify as neither male nor female. Traditionally, ‘they’ had been restricted to referencing groups of people and not a single individual.
The addition of ‘they’ as a valid pronoun along side ‘he’ and ‘she’ was disclosed in an article published on the official website of the Merriam-Webster dictionary on September 17, 2019. The article states that it has added more than 533 new words and meanings as a way to check, update, and revise the dictionary to reflect newly-established words and changes within society.
Singular ‘They’ as a Personal Pronoun
Merriam-Webster’s fourth definition of ‘they’ is now: “Used to refer to a single person whose gender identity is nonbinary.” Meaning, the word can be used to describe someone who doesn’t identify as male or female.