Dictionary.com’s “word of the year” is seriously bumming us out

Every year, Dictionary.com unveils a new word of the year. As in, a word that trended more than in year’s past. And this time, Dictionary.com’s word of the year is xenophobia. Oy.

Xenophobia, defined as, “fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers,” or “fear or dislike of the customs, dress, etc., of people who are culturally different from oneself,” spiked this year as people took to the dictionary site to find out the exact definition of the word.

“Xenophobia and other words tied to global news and political rhetoric reflected the worldwide interest in the unfortunate rise of fear of otherness in 2016, making it the clear choice for Word of the Year, said Liz McMillan, CEO of Dictionary.com, in a press release.


According to the site, the searches for the word spiked this year after June 24th when the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union (aka “Brexit”), and it increased again after President Obama used the term in a speech.

It’s been a hard year for so many, but this is yet another reminder to stay positive, embrace our differences, and to take care of one another!

If we learn anything from this year’s word, let it be this.

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