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After Time magazine named “The Silence Breakers” as the person of the year, Merriam-Webster revealed on Wednesday, December 13 that “feminism” is the dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2017.

Merriam-Webster said “feminism” was the most searched word in its online dictionary. Lookups for the word has increased 70% more than last year and spiked several times after several major events dealing with women’s issues.

The year 2017 started strong for “feminism” with the Women’s March in Washington held after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

In February, the word spiked again when White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said during an interview that she didn’t consider herself a feminist.

“It’s difficult for me to call myself a feminist in the classic sense because it seems to be very anti-male and it certainly seems to be very pro-abortion. I’m neither anti-male or pro-abortion,” Conway said.

And more recently, searches for the word feminism increased after a lot of empowered women have come forward to share their stories about sexual assault and harassment with the #MeToo movement.

Feminism is defined in Merriam-Webster as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” and as the “organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.”

It has been in Merriam-Webster’s annual Top 10 for the last few years, joining the other “isms” in 2015 like socialism, fascism, racism, communism, and capitalism.

Among others to make Merriam-Webster’s top 10 Words of the Year list for 2017 are complicit, recuse, empathy, dotard, syzygy, gyro, federalism, hurricane, and gaffe.

[Merriam-Webster]

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