Dictionary.com’s Word of the Year for 2016 Is…
What was the biggest word in 2016?
Dictionary.com has chosen "xenophobia" as its word of the year. The site reported an uptick in people looking up the word, most likely due to a combination of factors, including Brexit, strained relations between police and minorities, the refugee situation in Syria, the transsexual debate and the presidential election in the U.S.
"Xenophobia and other words tied to global news and political rhetoric reflected the worldwide interest in the unfortunate rise of fear of otherness in 2016, making it the clear choice for Word of the Year," said Dictionary.com CEO Liz McMillan. "While we can never know the exact reasons why xenophobia trended in our lookups this year, this reflects a desire in our users to understand the significant discourse surrounding global events."
Dictionary.com is the second major publication to come out with a politically-charged word of the year. A few weeks ago, Oxford Dictionaries selected "post-truth," a nod to the divisiveness of the election and the controversial Brexit vote.