Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year For 2021 Is "Vaccine"


Finger pointing to word in dictionary

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I feel like you could have predicted this a year ago: Merriam-Webster just announced its word of the year for 2021, and the word is, "vaccine." (Oxford English Dictionary recently named "vax" their word of the year.)

Searches for "vaccine" on Merriam-Webster.com were up 601% compared to last year, and over 1,000% compared to 2019. So it's kind of a judgment call, but also based on raw data.

The runners up this year include "insurrection", "infrastructure", "perseverance," because of the Mars Perseverance rover, "cicada", "meta", and "woke." Their word of the year in 2020 was "pandemic."


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