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‘Feminism’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017

The word feminism hung in the air throughout the year in 2017. And according to Merriam-Webster's lexicographer and editor, recent incidents like the Harvey Weinstein episode and the Women's March in January gave the word further push.

By: Reuters | New York |
December 12, 2017 12:28:24 pm
feminism, merriam webster word of the year, important words of 2017, meaning of feminism, complicit, words that were used most in 2017, indian express, indian express news The word ‘feminism’ has been part of most conversations this year. (Source: Thinkstock Image)

Merriam-Webster has revealed ‘feminism” as its word of the year for 2017. Company lexicographer and editor at large, Peter Sokolowski, says the word hung in the air throughout the year. It saw a 70 per cent increase in lookups over 2016 on Merriam-Webster.com and experienced a major spike around the Women’s March in January.

Kellyanne Conway’s “I am not a feminist” remarks at the Conservative Political Action Committee gave the word another push. So did the takedown of Harvey Weinstein. Other runners-up are: recuse, empathy, dotard, syzygy, gyro, federalism, hurricane and gaffe. Wondering about gaffe? It was a go-to for the media after the wrong best picture winner was announced at the Academy Awards.

Merriam-Webster’s decision follows Dictionary.com’s word of the year designation of  ‘complicit’, a word that made the Merriam-Webster short list. Jane Solomon, a lexicographer, while speaking to The Associated Press ahead of the formal announcement of the site’s pick of the word ‘complicit’ had said, “This year a conversation that keeps on surfacing is what exactly it means to be complicit.” “Complicit has sprung up in conversations about those who speak out against powerful figures in institutions, and those who stay silent,” she had added.

In 2016, Merriam-Webster’s word of the year was ‘surreal’.  The word is defined as fantastical or “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream.” The word was first used in the coverage of the Brussels terror attack in March, and was later used extensively while describing the coup attempt in Turkey in July. And finally the word was used and looked up after the November US election.

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