Merriam-Webster: ‘Justice’ is word of the year | Inquirer News

Merriam-Webster: ‘Justice’ is word of the year

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 03:22 PM December 17, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — “Justice” is 2018’s word of the year, Merriam-Webster announced Monday.

Merriam-Webster said that the word was a “top lookup” throughout the year at


It noted that the word was consulted 74 percent more than in 2017.

Merriam-Webster pointed out that the “concept of justice” was at the center of many debates in 2018: racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, economic justice.


“In any conversation about these topics, the question of just what exactly we mean when we use the term ‘justice’ is relevant, and part of the discussion,” it said.

The Dictionary said that “justice” has varied meanings ranging from “the technical and legal to the lofty and philosophical.”

“For many reasons and for many meanings, one thing’s for sure: justice has been on the minds of many people in 2018,” Merriam-Webster said.

Merriam-Webster also listed 10 other words that experienced spikes in lookups throughout the year:

1.) Nationalism — Lookups for “nationalism” spiked 8,000 percent on Oct. 22 and 23 after President  Donald Trump announced at a rally in Texas that he is a “nationalist.”

2.) Pansexual — the word “pansexual” experienced spike in lookups last April when singer Janelle Monáe was quoted in magazine Rolling Stone identifying herself with the word.

3.) Lodestar — the word “lodestar” saw spikes in searches when an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times was published, which was said to have been written by a senior official in the Trump administration.


4.) Ephiphany — lookups of “epiphany” increased last August when the word was featured in the trailer for a song in a forthcoming album from the K-pop group BTS.

5.) Feckless — The “feck” in “feckless” is a Scottish word meaning “value” or “worth.” The word had an antonym: “feckful” meaning “efficient” or “effective.”

6.) Laurel — the word was looked up more than 3,300 percent in the middle of May because of an audio clip that had divided netizens into two distinct group, those who heard “laurel” and those who heard “yanny.”

7.) Pissant — “pissant” saw a 115,000 percent spike in searches when New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady called a radio station out during an interview after a DJ on the station described Brady’s young daughter with the word.

8.) Respect — the word became a “top lookup” when Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died last August. “Respect” was the title of one of her most enduring hits.

9.) Maverick — the word experienced an increase in lookups following the death of Arizona Senator John McCain last August. McCain was often described with this word.

10.) Excelsior — the word saw a spike when Stan Lee died last November. “Excelsior” was his motto and salutation. He used the word to conclude each of the monthly columns he wrote for Marvel Comics.

Oxford Dictionaries earlier chose the “toxic” as 2018’s word of the year because of its “sheer scope of application.” /je

READ: Oxford Dictionaries: ‘Toxic’ is word of the year

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TAGS: Dictionary, grammar, Justice, Merriam-Webster, News, word, word of the year, words
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