Merriam-Webster announces 2016’s Word of the Year


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Surreal (adj.) : marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream; also :  unbelievable, fantastic.

“Assumpsit” and “Feckless” also made the list of top searches.

Does this sound like 2016 to you?

According to Springfield-based dictionary publisher Merriam Webster, the word “surreal” is 2016’s “Word of the Year”– meaning the word has had the greatest number of searches and a significant increase of searches on over the past year.

The leading dictionary publisher in America said searches of the word “surreal” spiked after many major events worldwide: the Brussels terror attacks, the coup attempt in Turkey and the attack in Nice, France, are just some examples. The largest spike in searches of the word surreal, however, happened after the election of Donald Trump.

In a release sent to 22News, Editor-at-Large Peter Sokolowski, said this year’s word of the year is unique because spikes of searches were triggered by multiple events rather than a single event.

“Historically, surreal has been one of the words most searched after tragedy, most notably in the days following 9/11, but it was associated with a wide variety of stories this year,” Sokolowski said.

Other words that made the list for significant spikes in searches include, “icon,” “revenant,” and “deplorable;” a word that Hillary Clinton used during her campaign to describe supporters of Donald Trump, in which she expressed regret using.