This is Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2018

Dec 17 2018, 2:50 pm

Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its word of the year for 2018.

The word was the most looked up term throughout the year at Merriam-Webster’s website, and was consulted 74% times more than in 2017.

“The concept of justice was at the center of many of our national debates in the past year: racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, economic justice,” stated Merriam-Webster in its decision. “In any conversation about these topics, the question of just what exactly we mean when we use the term justice is relevant, and part of the discussion.”

The website stated that this year’s news stories, from the Mueller investigation to the Kavanaugh case, all attributed to the rise in search of the term. And of course, tweets by President Donald Trump also had an impact, as “Justice” is often used to refer to the Department of Justice.

“Curiosity about the word justice correlated with news stories involving the Justice Department a number of times in 2018, as when the department reversed its policy of lenient enforcement of marijuana laws, announced its support for a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, proposed a ban on bump stocks, and began an investigation of Tesla,” reads a release on the term.

“The term obstruction of justice spiked on August 1, the day that President Trump tweeted his wish for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop the Mueller investigation.”

Justice has different meanings that range from the technical and legal to the lofty and philosophical. But one thing’s for sure, justice was on the minds of many people this year.

As for other terms looked up, here are 10 words that sent people to the dictionary in 2018, in order:

Nationalism

Pansexual

Lodestar

Epiphany

Feckless

Laurel

Pissant

Respect

Maverick

Excelsior

See also