Support Just the News

Help Fund Honest Journalism

Donate

'Pandemic' chosen as word of the year by Dictionary.com

Searches for the term on the dictionary website spiked more than 13,500% on March 1, according to the site.

Image
Young people in face masks amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Young people in face masks amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Getty Images
Updated: November 30, 2020 - 3:15pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

With 2021 just about a month away, 2020 will go down in history as the year of the coronavirus, with Dictionary.com choosing the word 'pandemic' as its word of the year.

Although the virus continues to create global restrictions and lockdowns that are expected to continue into next year, the word will always be a reminder of the hardships and unpredictability faced by nearly everyone this year due to the coronavirus.

As the definition reads, "a disease prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world" began in the final days of 2019 in China and began to spread globally.

Searches for the word 'pandemic' on the dictionary website spiked more than 13,500% on March 1, according to dictionary.com senior research editor John Kelly. 

"That's massive, but even more telling is how high it has sustained significant search volumes throughout the entire year," Kelly told the Associated Press. "Month over month, it was over 1,000% higher than usual. For about half the year, it was in the top 10% of all our lookups."

Merriam-Webster has also chosen 'pandemic' as the word of the year. 

Other words that saw a huge increase in searches include the words asymptomatic, furlough, non-essential and hydroxychloroquine.

Just the News Spotlight