Merriam-Webster Expertly Sums Up 2017 With Its Word Of The Year

The word of 2017 has been revealed

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".

Feminism was named Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2017 on Tuesday, marking another victory for women's empowerment in the United States over the past 12 months. It was not until 1841 when Noah Webster, the founder of Merriam-Webster, created the first dictionary reference for "feminism". Though other politically charged words were certainly considered and in the running, this decision seems ultimately the more powerful and important.

Today, it has taken a much more political tone.

Users also searched the term when Kellyanne Conway said during an interview that she didn't consider herself a feminist, and then again with the release of empowering TV series and films, including The Handmaid's Tale and Wonder Woman.

Merriam-Webster said more look-ups followed the outpouring of sexual harassment allegations that have unseated well-known figures in Hollywood, politics, business, and triggered the #MeToo social media campaign by women all over the world.

Merriam-Webster Expertly Sums Up 2017 With Its Word Of The Year
Merriam-Webster Expertly Sums Up 2017 With Its Word Of The Year

Feminism spiked following news coverage of the Women's March on Washington, DC in January (and other related marches held around the country and internationally), and follow-up discussions regarding whether the march was feminist, and what kind of feminism was represented by organizers and attendees.

She said she was a "product of my choices, not a victim of my circumstances", which she described as "conservative feminism". "And to me, that's what conservative feminism is all about".

And Google paid homage to the term last month when it added German feminist Helen Stocker - the first woman to earn her doctorate from the University of Bern - in a Google Doodle in celebration of what would have been the activist's 148th birthday.

The online dictionary had nine runners-up for word of the year, including complicit, recuse, empathy and gaffe.

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