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Merriam-Webster chooses ‘feminism’ as 2017 word of the year

Protester's signs are left near the White House during the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The editors at Merriam-Webster dictionary have chosen “feminism” as the 2017 word of the year, citing, among other reasons, a 70 percent increase in look-ups for the term on their website over the last year. The news comes on the heels of rival Dictionary.com choosing “complicit” as its 2017 word of the year, as interest spiked in the term following Ivanka Trump’s claim in April that she didn’t “know what it means to be complicit.

Speaking with The Associated Press, Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski said that the dictionary’s editors had seen searches for the definition of feminism increase dramatically following the Women’s March on Washington and during the #MeToo movement.

“The word feminism was being used in a kind of general way — the feminism of this big protest,” said Sokolowski. “But it was 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.”

Other surges in interest in the term, he said, occurred after Kellyanne Conway told the Conservative Political Action Committee that being a feminist meant being “anti-male” and “pro-abortion,” and following the release of hit TV-show The Handmaid’s Tale and summer blockbuster Wonder Woman.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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