Dictionary.com announces Word of the Year

I’d like to think all my readers are already well aware of the meaning of complicit. And yet Dictionary.com declared it their Word of the Year because of the number of people who looked it up this year.

The curiosity came in three spikes: The first (March 12) was after Saturday Night Live did a skit about Ivanka Trump’s (fictional) new perfume Complicit. The second (April 5) came after Ivanka Trump said in an interview, “I don’t know what it means to be complicit.” The third (October 24) came when Sen. Jeff Flake announced his retirement with “I will not be complicit.”

The story explaining the selection is thought-provoking and worth reading. It makes you ask yourself if, given all the negative things happening in our society these days, have I been complicit by remaining silent?


(And if you were wondering, complicit means choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having complicity.)

10 thoughts on “Dictionary.com announces Word of the Year

  1. When I first heard this I was quite confused initially. Why would they choose such a common word as ‘complicit’ as the Word of the Year? Only after reading further on the subject was I enlightened. If there point was how many didn’t know what a word mean’t they could just as well ask a group of individuals who the first President of the United States was? They would probably gotten just as many blank stares… 🙂

    1. You and I may think it a common word, but apparently a significant number of Americans were unfamiliar with ir. And this year, of course, it is loaded with political implications. People need to know what it means to understand what’s going on in Washington.

      And Dictionary.com didn’t poll people. They just looked at their own data — which words were being looked up, by how many people, on which days. …the same way we examine our own blog statistics to see which posts are being read, and by how many people.

... and that's my two cents