Merriam-Webster announces Word of the Year for 2016

This Saturday Dec. 17, 2016 photo shows the "surreal" entry in a Merriam-Webster's dictionary in New York. "Surreal" is Merriam-Webster's word of 2016 based on spikes in lookups. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Surreal (adj.) : marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream; also : unbelievable, fantastic.

Does this sound like 2016 to you?

According to Springfield-based dictionary publisher Merriam Webster, the word “surreal” is 2016’s “Word of the Year”– meaning the word had the greatest number lookups and a significant increase of lookups on Merriam-Webster.com over the past year.

The leading dictionary publisher in America says lookups of the word “surreal” spiked after many major events worldwide: the Brussels terror attacks, the coup attempt in Turkey and the attack in Nice, France, are just some examples. The largest spike in lookups of the word surreal, however, happened after the election of Donald Trump.

Editor-at-Large Peter Sokolowski said this year’s word of the year is unique because spikes of lookups were triggered by multiple events rather than a single event.

“Historically, surreal has been one of the words most searched after tragedy, most notably in the days following 9/11, but it was associated with a wide variety of stories this year,” Sokolowski said.

Other words that made the list for significant spikes in lookups include, “icon,” “revenant,” and “deplorable;” a word that Hillary Clinton used during her campaign to describe supporters of Donald Trump, in which she expressed regret using.

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