Highlights

  • 'It was a word looked up frequently every single day of the year'
  • 'Word has risen quickly in the English language, especially in last four years'
  • Other top searches in 2022 were 'sentient', 'omicron' and 'queen consort'

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What is Merriam-Webster's word of the year?

American dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster has named "gaslighting" as its word of the year for 2022

'Gaslighting' — mind manipulating, grossly misleading, downright deceitful is Merriam-Webster's word of the year.

According to America's oldest dictionary publisher, searches for the word Gaslighting on its website increased by 1,740% in 2022 "with high interest throughout the year".

The word was in the top 50 words looked up on the Merriam-Webster's website to earn top dog word of the year status.

Merriam-Webster dictionary explains gaslighting as psychological manipulation of a person, usually over an extended period of time, that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, the uncertainty of one's emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.

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