Merriam-Webster’s has announced its Word of the Year for 2020, and it is not a surprise.
‘Pandemic‘ has been crowned this year’s Word of the Year!
“Sometimes a single word defines an era, and it’s fitting that in this exceptional—and exceptionally difficult—year, a single word came immediately to the fore as we examined the data that determines what our Word of the Year will be.
Based upon a statistical analysis of words that are looked up in extremely high numbers in our online dictionary while also showing a significant year-over-year increase in traffic, Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year for 2020 is pandemic,” the website said.
According to Merriam-Webster’s, the definition of pandemic is: an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area (such as multiple countries or continents) and typically affects a significant proportion of the population.
It is derived from two Greek words: pan means “all” or “every,” and dēmos means “people”; its literal meaning is “of all the people.”
On 11th March, when the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 as a pandemic, the word saw the single largest spike in dictionary traffic in 2020, showing an increase of 115,806% over lookups on that day in 2019.
Recently, Oxford Languages, the publisher of the Oxford Dictionary, also released a list of Words of the Year.
This is a very appropriate choice to be crowned the Word of the Year, don’t you think?1