Merriam-Webster's word of the year is 'feminism' and we're thrilled Advertisement

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is ‘feminism’ and we’re thrilled

The online dictionary has released its word of the year and it's excellent

By Katie O’Malley  December 13th, 2017

It’s that time of year again when the world begins to round up the most inspiring moments, best beauty looks and most used fashion words from 2017. So, it comes with great glee to announce that ‘feminism’ has ranked first in the Merriam-Webster selection for the word of the year.

*Fist pumps the air*

According to Peter Sokolowski, the company’s editor-at-large, searches for the term on the dictionary’s site increased 70 per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year.

The spike in searches follows key feminist events during the year including the Women’s March on Washington DC and international cities in January, Kellyanne Conway’s interview in which she said she doesn’t consider herself a feminist, the releases of The Handmaid’s Tale and Wonder Woman, and the rise of the #MeToo movement.


According to Merriam-Webster, ‘feminism’ is ‘the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes’ and ‘organised activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests’.

“The word feminism was being used in a kind of general way,” Sokolowski told The Associated Press.

future is female

“The feminism of this big protest, but it was also used in a kind of specific way: What does it mean to be a feminist in 2017? Those kinds of questions are the kinds of things, I think, that send people to the dictionary.”

Fortunately, the word beat runner-up phrase ‘complicit’ which picked as their Word of the Year following Ivanka Trump’s ignorant and somewhat baffling definition of the term.

Toronto Slutwalk

‘Complicit’, for anyone who isn’t Ivanka Trump, means ‘choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act’.

Here are the other runners-up:

Recuse — in reference to Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Empathy — one of the top lookups throughout the year

Dotard — word used by Kim Jong-Un to describe Donald Trump

Syzygy — during the Great American Eclipse

Gyro — after a sketch from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

Federalism — during the Affordable Care Act passage

Hurricane — unfortunately due to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria

Gaffe — in February, during the Academy Awards. You know, with that Moonlight/La La Land moment?

2017 really was the year of feminism!