A misogynist as it stands now is a hater of women, but when the next edition of Australia’s most used dictionary is released it will be a ‘step up from sexism’, as it has been used for more than 20 years.

The dictionaries editor Sue Butler told Fairfax papers that the watered down definition of misogyny had “filtered through to general conversation in Australian English”.

She told ABC radio that misogyny’s second definition will be that it’s like sexism but with a “stronger edge to it”.

“Sexist does seem to be moving towards this description of surface features and misogynist applies to the underlying attitude,’ Butler says.

‘It’s not a one-off from our prime minister; it’s simply our prime minister picking up on a usage that’s quite common.’

Gillard went on tour overseas to Bali, Afghanistan and now India after her 15-minute speech became a viral sensation around the world.

The Opposition has suggested the PM alter the words she uses rather than dictionaries change their meanings, but the Macquarie is not alone.

A representative of the Australian National Dictionary Centre, a consultant to Oxford University Press on their Australian editions, told Fairfax it would consider a change.

“Certainly the current media debate is the kind of thing that will prompt us to have another look at how we define a word,” director Amanda Laugesen says.

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