Editors of the online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary have updated the definition of the word “marriage” to include gay and lesbian couples.

UK LGBT news site Gay Star News was first to report on the changes.

Marriage is defined by the OED online as “the relation between persons married to each other” and “the condition of being a husband or wife.” Editors have added: “the term is now sometimes used with reference to long-term relationships between partners of the same sex.”

An Oxford University Press spokeswoman first discussed the possibility of updating the definition to include same-sex couples in July.

The update comes after England approved a gay marriage law expected to take effect next summer in Britain and Wales.