Brazil legend Pele officially added to dictionary to define 'someone out of the ordinary' after fan campaign

His name has long been a byword for success and excellence, but now Brazil great and three-time World Cup winner Pele is officially in the dictionary.

The adjective "Pele" has been added to the Portuguese edition of the Michaelis dictionary to describe "someone out of the ordinary."

Earlier this month, the Pele Foundation and Sportv launched the "Pele in the dictionary" campaign to pay tribute and recognise his legacy in other fields beyond sport.

After the campaign received more than 100,000 signatures, the name of arguably the greatest player of all-time, who died in December, is now permanently in the lexicon.

The entry of the former Santos and New York Cosmos star, which was unveiled at the Summit Sports event in Pacaembu on Wednesday, reads:.


adj m+f sm+f

That or someone who is out of the ordinary, who or who by virtue of their quality, value or superiority cannot be equalled to anything or anyone, just like Pele.

Edson Arantes do Nascimento (1940-2022), considered the greatest athlete of all time; exceptional, incomparable, unique.

Examples: He is the Pele of basketball, she is the Pele of tennis, she is the Pele of Brazilian dramaturgy, he is the Pele of medicine.

Pele's family was presented with a plaque with the entry and Michaelis has already included it in its digital edition. The definition will also be added into the next printed version.

"The Pele campaign in the dictionary is one of the most original we have ever participated. His name in the dictionary is a very important piece of his legacy that will keep Pele alive forever," said Joe Fraga, executive director of the Pele Foundation.

Pele is the only footballer, male or female, to win the World Cup three times. He is also one of the top goal scorers in the history of the men's games, although his exact number of goals scored in "official" matches is the subject of much conjecture.