|Born||1971 (age 45–46)
"Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
|Alma mater||"University of Chicago|
McKean was born in "Charlotte, North Carolina. She graduated from the "University of Chicago with a BA/MA in Linguistics. As an undergraduate, she worked in a junior capacity on the "Chicago Assyrian Dictionary. McKean has also served on the Visiting Committee to the University of Chicago's "Regenstein Library and helped organize a dictionary-themed exhibit, The Meaning of Dictionaries, there in 2007.
McKean is a founder of Reverb, which makes the online dictionary "Wordnik. She was previously the editor in chief of US Dictionaries for Oxford University Press and Principal Editor of "The New Oxford American Dictionary, second edition.  McKean is the author of seven books:
McKean is also the editor of VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly, and edited a collection of work from that publication, Verbatim: From the bawdy to the sublime, the best writing on language for word lovers, grammar mavens, and armchair linguists (Mariner Books, 2001). McKean's novel The Secret Lives of Dresses was a best-seller in Australia, and has been optioned for film. She writes about dresses in her blog, A Dress A Day.
She wrote frequently for "The Word" column in "The Boston Globe. from 2008 through 2011 and wrote "The Week in Words" for the "Wall Street Journal from 2011 through mid-2013. She has also written for the "New York Times "On Language column.
McKean's 2007 TED talk, "Redefining the Dictionary", was the genesis for the founding of Wordnik.com. She has also spoken at Pop!Tech, "Gel conference, and Thinking Digital, and gave a Wordnik demo at the "All Things Digital D8 conference in 2010. McKean sews her own clothes and often makes "stunt dresses" for speeches, including the "Tetris-themed dress she wore to speak at the "Web 2.0 Summit in 2009.
"Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked ‘female'.", a quote from McKean's blog, A Dress A Day, has been widely shared on social media. Since the original post features a large picture of "Diana Vreeland, the quote has occasionally been misattributed to her.