The 2020 prize for Merriam-Webster’s Phrase of the 12 months went to an apparent selection: pandemic.
The time period had essentially the most on-line dictionary lookups of any phrase, Merriam-Webster stated on its web site, after a yr through which not less than 1.four million individuals globally have died from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Generally a single phrase defines an period, and it is becoming that on this distinctive – and exceptionally troublesome – yr, a single phrase got here instantly to the fore,” the dictionary writer stated.
Pandemic is outlined as “an outbreak of a illness that happens over a large geographic space (equivalent to a number of nations or continents) and sometimes impacts a major proportion of the inhabitants,” in keeping with Merriam-Webster.com.
The phrase’s Greek roots are “pan,” which means all or each and “demos,” which means individuals, Merriam-Webster stated.
Dictionary lookups skyrocketed on March 11 when the World Well being Group formally labeled COVID-19 a pandemic.
The phrase “noticed the only largest spike in dictionary visitors in 2020, displaying a rise of 115,806% over lookups on that day in 2019,” stated the corporate, based in 1831.
Final yr’s winner was “they” as used to explain somebody who doesn’t establish as male nor feminine. That follows winners “justice” in 2018, “feminism” in 2017 and “surreal” in 2016.
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