Merriam-Webster officials announced their word of the year last week, and it’s one that is, unfortunately, a testament to the times in which we’re living. “Gaslighting” — behavior that’s mind manipulating, grossly misleading, downright deceitful — takes the top spot this year.

According to Merriam-Webster, instances of people looking up the word on increased 1,740% in 2022 over the year before. Usually, the word of the year is driven by a specific event that sends people running to the online dictionary. But in the case of gaslighting, the lookups were pervasive throughout the year.

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Gilligan is a 30-plus years veteran of the Telegraph Herald and has been executive editor since 2017. Email her at

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