Merriam-Webster declares 'pandemic' word of the year
Merriam-Webster has chosen 'pandemic' as the word of the year.
The selection is data-driven, with lookups of the term spiking on February 3rd.
From there lookups continue to grow with dictionary users looking up 'pandemic' 4,000 percent more in early March than they had in previous years.
When the World Health Organization officially dubbed COVID-19 a pandemic, lookups increased 115,806 percent over 2019.
Other top words for Merriam-Webster this year include malarkey (as used by president-elect Joe Biden during the October presidential debate), kraken (Seattle's new NHL franchise), and antebellum (country music act Lady Antebellum recently changed their name to 'Lady A').
Earlier this year Collins Dictionary declared 'lockdown' as their word of the year.
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