updated 3/18/2009 8:00:05 PM ET 2009-03-19T00:00:05

Same-sex marriage might not be recognized in most states, but it is in the dictionary.

Merriam-Webster included a secondary definition of marriage to recognize same-sex relationships years before gay couples were allowed to tie the knot in any state. A spokesman of the Springfield, Mass., company said the change was made in 2003 to reflect the popularity of the term "same-sex marriage" in print and common usage.

The change had gone largely unnoticed until the conservative World Net Daily news site reported it Tuesday.

Only two states in the country legally recognize gay marriage.

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