US fastfood giant McDonald's has voiced its objections to a dictionary's definition of the word "McJob".

In the latest version of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, a McJob is defined as a low-paying, dead-end job, a definition that McDonald's CEO Jim Cantalupo has not taken kindly to.

In a letter to the dictionary publisher, Cantalupo called for Merriam-Webster to drop its "inaccurate definition of restaurant employment", saying the definition was "completely inappropriate and absolutely demeaning for all the dedicated men and women who have been or currently are employed in a restaurant", reported Dow Jones Newswires.

Cantalupo argued that restaurant employees are "proud of their jobs and recognise that restaurants are...gateways to opportunity."

He added that the company owns a federal trademark to the word "McJOBS", which refers to McDonald's programme to help train and place people with disabilities.

In a statement, Merriam-Webster stood by the definition.

"For more than 17 years, 'McJob' has been used as we are defining it in a broad range of publications, including The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Publishers Weekly, Rolling Stone, The Times (London), The Boston Globe, Ms., Harper's, The New Republic, Utne Reader, The Vancouver Sun," the publisher was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The statement added that "words qualify for inclusion in the dictionary because they are widely and commonly used in a broad range of carefully edited sources."