Posted on 11/30/2021 at 08:20 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

2021 has been full of surprises, some of them good, others … not so much.

So here’s something completely unsurprising (and thus perhaps comforting): Merriam-Webster has chosen “vaccine” as its word of the year for 2021.

The dictionary noted that not only did it tweak its definition of the word based on technological advances, but also, it was drawn to how “vaccine” had become a vehicle for ideological conflict.

Lookups of “vaccine” skyrocketed: up 1048 percent between 2019 and 2021; up 601 percent, year-over-year, from 2020 to 2021; and up 535 percent just this August (thanks to the political conversations around it).

Merriam-Webster also shared ten runner-up words for 2021 in its post about vaccine’s victory.

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Categories: Today in Books

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