'Feminism' named Merriam-Webster's 2017 Word of the Year

'Feminism' named Merriam-Webster's 2017 Word of the Year
Posted at 5:53 AM, Dec 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-12 05:54:30-05

Merriam-Webster has named their 2017 words of the year with "Feminism" coming in at No. 1.

According to the dictionary, Feminism was a top lookup throughout the year with several spikes depending on events that transpired across the United States and the world.

Merriam-Webster says they saw spikes after the Women's March on Washington in January, after Kellyanne Conway said she didn't consider herself a feminist, and due to the show "The Handmaid's Tale" and the movie "Wonder Woman."

The definition of feminism, according to the dictionary, is "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes" and "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests."

Merriam-Webster said the No. 2 word of the year was "complicit" driven by politics and Saturday Night Live. It means, "helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way" and has been used in connection with the Trump administration throughout the year.

The other top 10 words of the year are:

  • Recuse - "to disqualify (oneself) as judge in a particular case” and “to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest.” 
  • Empathy - "the ability to share another person’s feelings” and ultimately derives from the Greek word meaning “emotional."
  • Dotard - "a person in his or her dotage" (dotage is "a state or period of senile decay marked by decline of mental poise and alertness"), and initially had the meaning "imbecile" when it began being used in the 14th century.
  • Syzygy /SIZ-uh-jee/ - "the nearly straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies (such as the sun, moon, and earth during a solar or lunar eclipse) in a gravitational system."
  • Gyro - "a sandwich especially of lamb and beef, tomato, onion, and yogurt sauce on pita bread."
  • Federalism - "the distribution of power in an organization (such as a government) between a central authority and the constituent units."
  • Hurricane - "a tropical cyclone with winds of 74 miles (119 kilometers) per hour or greater that occurs especially in the western Atlantic, that is usually accompanied by rain, thunder, and lightning, and that sometimes moves into temperate latitudes."
  • Gaffe - "A noticeable mistake."