In an announcement on Twitter, Merriam-Webster has revealed that it has added the word “sheeple” to its dictionary, an informal word defined as “people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced” and thereby “likened to sheep”.
The first example of the word in a sentence is pretty unremarkable…
James Nichols, who ran the family farm here, stamped dollar bills with red ink in protest against currency and told his neighbors that they were “sheeple” for obeying authority like livestock. — Sara Rimer and James Bennet
…but then there’s this:
Apple’s debuted a battery case for the juice-sucking iPhone—an ungainly lumpy case the sheeple will happily shell out $99 for. — Doug Criss
According to Merriam-Webster however, the first usage of the word “sheeple” was back in 1945, long before the advent of any Apple product or the company itself.