Word of the Year 2017 - Feminism | Merriam-Webster

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In 2017 it was the most searched term on the site, up a huge 70 per cent from a year ago.

That is no surprise, given the Harvey Weinstein-sized hole in the news cycle and the #MeToo movement that swept across America and other countries.

Merriam-Webster has become popular over the past two years for its viral trolling of Trump. "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?"

"2017 has been a year to remember not only for the many challenges to women's rights across the world but importantly because women have united in unprecedented numbers to make their voices heard", said Chiara Capraro, policy manager of Womankind.

What was last year's victor of word of the year? Once defined as simply "the qualities of females", feminism is now "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes" and "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests", according to Merriam-Webster.

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"It was a very new word at that time", Sokolowski said.

The word spiked again in late February, after White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told the Conservative Political Action Conference that it was hard for her to call herself a feminist "because it seems to be very anti-male and very pro-abortion in this context".

Considering that the smartphone, the TV remote and the nuclear button of the world's most powerful nation is in the hands of a leader who can not be bothered to spell honour ("honer") right - fairly "unpresidented", we must say - it has to be asked: What, in the name of covfefe, is this quaint ritual of pronouncing a "word of the year"?

"It's hard for me to call myself a feminist in the classic sense because it seems to be very anti-male and it certainly is very pro-abortion, and I'm neither anti-male or pro-abortion". "Feminism" is what stares back at you. I look at myself as a product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances.

And the dictionary also cited TV shows such as the Handmaid's Tale and films like Wonder Woman as boosting searches.

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Merriam-Webster bestowed the "Word of the Year" honour on the word or term with the sharpest spike in look-ups over the previous year.

Empathy, which hung high all year.

Syzygy, the almost straight-line configuration of three celestial bodies, such as the sun, moon and earth during a solar or lunar eclipse.

Federalism, following Lindsey Graham referencing it over the future of the Affordable Care Act. That was a go-to word for the media, Sokolowski said.

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