Usage and Grammar

Q. Is it okay to use “Latinx” instead of “Latino” or “Latina”?

A. Though it is still a new word and has yet to be embraced by everyone, “Latinx” has entered the mainstream by at least one measure: Merriam-Webster added “Latinx” in 2018, and the Oxford English Dictionary followed in 2019. For many people, particularly in the United States (the OED entry includes the label “Chiefly U.S.”), “Latinx” serves as an essential gender-neutral alternative to “Latino” (masc.) or “Latina” (fem.) to refer to people of Latin American descent. “Latinx” is more inclusive than two other common alternative forms—“Latino/a” and “Latin@”—both of which invoke the binary -o and -a endings derived from Spanish. A preference for “Latinx” (or one of the other alternative forms) should be respected, and editors should query authors about their preferred usage when in doubt.