Scrabble FAQs

How many new words are in the new Collins Official Scrabble Words?


How do new words get chosen?

Representatives from the Dictionary Committee of the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association (WESPA) – the international governing body for tournament Scrabble play excluding North America – painstakingly review the most recent published dictionaries and add all new words and inflection that are valid for play in Scrabble. These are words 2-15 letter words that do not require capital letters or hyphens and are not abbreviations (acronyms that are pronounced as words are allowed).

Can I challenge a decision?

During the editorial process Collins editors have the opportunity to query submissions with the WESPA dictionary committee. WESPA may also query Collins on words we have added to the most recent editions of Collins English Dictionary (the main source for new Scrabble words). The final list of words is agreed on by both Collins and WESPA, and WESPA’s work, being based on existing dictionary research, is of a very high standard.

Once Official Scrabble Words has been published, it is the WESPA-approved authority on what is allowable in Scrabble. If individual players wish to challenge a word, they can contact WESPA or Collins, but they will have to wait until the next edition for an action to be taken. Until then, the word is allowable.

Which words did you consider but not choose?

No words were taken out of consideration for this edition. Some potential inflections and variant spellings of new and existing words were omitted in the end because they weren’t supported by dictionary or corpus evidence.

Why are there words in Scrabble that are not in the dictionary?

The Scrabble wordlist and Collins English Dictionary are revised independently and at different timescales. Collins English Dictionary directly feeds into the Scrabble wordlist as the main source of new words. Collins is the only official publisher of Scrabble wordlists and dictionaries worldwide, excluding North America.

WESPA also have independent sources of new words, and their research usually takes place after the Collins English Dictionary has been published, so Scrabble often includes words that have not yet made it into CED.
For the latest edition of the Collins English Dictionary, we have reintroduced many older words previously only published in Scrabble titles, such as bemix (to mix thoroughly), dreamwhile (the duration of a dream), powwaw (an expression of disbelief or contempt).

Who decides which words get in and which don’t?

The Dictionary Committee of WESPA is the main external body involved in compiling the new words. However, their work is based on existing dictionary research, so ultimately lexicographers decide which words are valid by adding them to a printed dictionary.
Our team of lexicographers and language experts analyse which words are most suitable for inclusion. The decisions they make are based on various criteria.

How often is the print Collins Official Scrabble Words revised?

Normally every 4 to 5 years.

When do you update the online checker?

It will be updated when the wordlist is officially adopted by WESPA from the beginning of September 2015.

What is special about this latest edition?

This latest edition has added more than twice as many words as were added to the previous edition, largely due to the more than 50,000 new words added to the most recent Collins English Dictionary.

Among the 6,500 words added to the new edition of Official Scrabble Words, there are 31 new 3-letter words and a whopping 672 new words containing at least one of the power tiles (J,Q, X, and Z).

What is the difference between the app and the printed version?

The printed version of Official Scrabble Words simply lists the words in alphabetical order. The app contains brief definitions of each main word as well. The app allows you to Check Words, Train against the clock and Solve using the words on your rack.

The Official Scrabble Word checker is available free online at Why should I buy it in print?
It’s also available as an app because we want everyone to have access to the Official Scrabble word list in whatever way they prefer. We understand that in different situations you might want to use the Scrabble wordlist in different ways. The print edition is much more suitable for browsing the words or when playing with a Scrabble board. The printed edition is also the version that will be used to resolve disputes in tournament play. If you’re looking up a word on the move or playing online Scrabble, then the website or app might suit you best.

Will it be available as an ebook?

An ebook with all valid words and including definitions will publish in October 2015 as COLLINS ULTIMATE SCRABBLE DICTIONARY AND WORDLIST priced £4.69

How much is the print book and app?

Print £17.99; iOS app £2.99

What’s the highest scoring word in Scrabble?

That actually depends on where you play it. Simply adding up the points for the individual tiles won’t guarantee the highest score if your opponent scores a bonus (playing all seven tiles at once) and a triple word score. However, MUZJIKS (128) (Russian peasants under rule of the Tsars) is the highest possible opening play.

Therefore you will never get a Scrabble tournament pro to answer this question. They may discuss the highest known score for a single word, or hypothetical circumstances in which a certain word might score very highly.

If you want to rack up a high score in a single play, the best advice is to learn seven-letter words with J’s, Q’s, and especially X’s and Z’s. If you manage to play one of these across a triple word score using all seven tiles at once, chances are your score will be unbeatable.

All opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of Collins, or its parent company, HarperCollins.

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