Merriam-Webster Names 'Feminism' As Its Top Word of 2017

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Merriam-Webster has crowned its annual Word of the Year. This legendary wordsmith bestowed this year's honor on the word: feminism.

Looking Up Feminism

Feminism edged out countless of words to receive this title. The wordsmiths pointed out that numerous people searched all over the internet for the word's definition. Merriam Webster defined feminism as the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes and organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests.

Throughout the year, feminism was used in numerous conversations regarding current events. Whether it was used in the Women's Marches across the country or during the resurgence of the MeToo Movement, feminism's powerful message was blasted all across social media. Time Magazine also honored the Silence Breakers, who reported a sexual assault that unleashed a hurricane of sexual allegations that took down some of the most powerful men in media.

The concept of feminism even made an appearance on the Silver Screen thanks in part to Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot. When the duo released Wonder Woman in the summer, audiences praised the film, and it made box office history. The American Film Institute also named the film to its Best Films of 2017, while Time Magazine shortlisted Jenkins as a candidate for their annual Person of The Year title.

"No one word can ever encapsulate all the news, events, or stories of a given year, particularly a year with so much news and so many stories," said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor at large. "But when a single word is looked up with great volume, it also stands out as one associated with several different stories."

Merriam Webster's Other Top Words

Other words that were candidates for Merriam Webster's top word of 2017 were complicit. Alec Baldwin perfectly demonstrated this word every time he appeared on Saturday Night Live.   The wordsmiths connected recuse with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The fourth word on the list was empathy. The world showed empathy with Ashley Judd when she revealed that Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed her, Puerto Rico, which was hit by multiple hurricanes, and briefly Keaton Jones.

Thanks to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, dotard made number five on Merriam Webster's list. Jong Un rekindled America's fascination with dotard when he called out the U.S. President in Sept. of this year. The wordsmith defined the word as a person in senile decline. The remaining words that rounded out the top ten words of 2017 included syzygy, gyro, federalism, hurricane, and gaffe.

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