Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year 2021: Vaccine

Merriam-Webster’s choice for the annual Word of the Year sums up what the English-speaking world has been talking about pretty well most of the time. Last year, they selected "pandemic." For 2021, the word everyone is using and wants to know more about is "vaccine."

"Vaccine" not only encompasses what was happening in the worlds of science and medicine, it also dominated the world of politics. It also affected the lives of millions of everyday people. Online dictionary lookups for the word "vaccine" increased 601% over 2020, and 1048% over 2019. The rate of lookups has remained high since its peak in August. The word was so hot that Merriam-Webster revised and expanded its definition.      

Besides the Word of the Year, Merriam-Webster names ten other words that define the language of the year 2021. They are: insurrection, perseverance, woke, nomad, infrastructure, cicada, Murraya, cisgender, guardian, and meta. Find out what they mean and why people wanted to look them up in 2021 at the dictionary's website.

PS: the folks at the Oxford English Dictionary selected "vax" as their Word of the Year. Great minds think alike.

(Image credit: Spencerbdavis)

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