New in the Glossary of Confusing Words: Webinar

dictionary and thesaurusNormally on Fridays we post a list of webinars and virtual fairs coming up in the next week. But what is a “webinar” anyway?  The person who submitted it for our Glossary of Confusing Words wrote:

I couldn’t find this word in Longman Dictionary and also in google translate online.

We use it, EducationUSA uses it, but what is it?

“Webinar” is one of those made up internet words, like e-book or tweeps, that tries to describe something that happens on the internet instead of in real life. It’s actually a combination of the words “web” (as in, internet) and “seminar.”  When you smash them together you get “webinar” (see it?).

So a webinar is a seminar, workshop or lecture that happens online.

You might also hear the word “webcast,”  which is a broadcast that happens online (web + broadcast = webcast).  The difference between a webinar and a webcast is that a webinar is usually interactive, allowing you to ask questions, while for a webcast you can usually watch but not participate.

Check here next Friday for a list of upcoming webinars and webcasts. Now you’ll know exactly what they are!

Do you have a word to contribute to our Glossary of Confusing Words? Share words that have confused you or that might confuse others about studying in the U.S. Leave your suggestions in the comments, or use the form below.