Merriam Webster Reveals Its Word Of The Year For 2016

Merriam-Webster revealed its word of the year for 2016: "surreal."

According to the dictionary company, the definition for "surreal" is something that has been "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream."

Merriam-Webster shared a post on Twitter that read: "1) 'Surreal' is one of the most common lookups following a tragedy 2) 'Surreal' is our 2016 Word of the Year."

The company explained on its website "there are essentially two kinds of high-volume lookups that we track: perennial words that are looked up day-in and day-out, and words that spike because of news events, politics, pop culture, or sports."

"By analyzing these spikes, we can get a sense as to what significant events sent people to the dictionary, and sometimes, what people think about those events," the site reads.

Merriam-Webster noticed a surge in searches for several definitions from words heard over the course of the presidential election.

Clearly people were watching the debates because the words "deplorable," and "bigly" were used regularly between Hillary Clinton and President-elect Donald Trump.

Viewers were perplexed during the September 26 debate, and couldn't seem to figure out if the billionaire real estate mogul was saying "big league" or "bigly."

Trump was actually using the term "big league" as an adverb, as in saying: "I'm going to cut taxes big league," the sites states.

Another word frequently heard on the campaign trail was "deplorable." Hillary Clinton described "half of Trump's supporters" as deplorable, which means "lamentable" or "deserving censure or contempt." Synonyms include "wretched" or "abominable."

While movie-going audiences may have loved Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar-winning film The Revenant, they weren't exactly sure what the title meant.

The word "revenant" was one of the most searched terms of the year. It means "one that returns after death or a long absence." For everyone who's seen the film, it's all coming together now isn't it?

Other words that were highly searched in 2016 were: "icon," "In Omnia Paratus," "irregardless," "assumpsit," "Faute de Miuex," and "feckless."

According to CBS News, the word of the year from the Oxford Dictionaries was "post-truth" and's was "xenophobia."


Are you surprised that "surreal" was Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2016?

[H/T CBS News]