Published: Wed, December 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Word of the Year 2017 - Feminism | Merriam-Webster

Word of the Year 2017 - Feminism | Merriam-Webster

Several key moments of 2017 justify the selection of "feminism" as Merriam-Webster's word of the year. The wordsmiths pointed out that numerous people searched all over the internet for the word's definition. They define "feminism" as "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes" and "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests". Whether it was used in the Women's Marches across the country or during the resurgence of the MeToo Movement, feminism's powerful message was blasted all across social media. "The string of breaking news stories regarding the resignations, firings, or dismissals of men who have been charged with sexual harassment or assault has kept this story in the news", Merriam-Webster stated. When the duo released Wonder Woman in the summer, audiences praised the film, and it made box office history.

Company lexicographer and editor at large, Peter Sokolowski, says the word hung in the air throughout the year. "But when we look back at the past 12 months and combine an analysis of words that have been looked up much more frequently than during the previous year along with instances of intense spikes of interest because of news events, we see that one word stands out in both categories".

But for a long time, the word simply meant "imbecile". The wordsmiths connected recuse with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

For a lot of the same reasons, also recently named "complicit" its 2017 word of the year.

Tens of thousands of people shared their stories of sexual harassment online using the hashtag #MeToo in the wake of Harvey Weinstein allegations.

Another top trending word for 2017 was "complicit", connected to Trump's sacking of Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, Russian interference in the 2016 election, and Ivanka Trump's comment that she did not know what the word meant - which was then parodied in a skit for television show Saturday Night Live. The wordsmith defined the word as a person in senile decline.

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