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 merriam-webster.com 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.