Dictionary.com named ‘Complicit’ as word of the year.




“Complicit” is named as Dictionary.com’s word of the year for 2017.Russian election influence, the ever-widening sexual harassment scandal, mass shootings and the opioid epidemic helped elevate the word.

Look-ups of the word increased nearly 300 percent over last year as “complicit” hit just about every hot button from politics to natural disasters, lexicographer Jane Solomon told The Associated Press ahead of Monday’s formal announcement of the site’s pick.

“Complicit has sprung up in conversations about those who speak out against powerful figures in institutions, and those who stay silent.”

Solomon noted that neither she nor Dictionary.com can know what sends people to dictionaries or dictionary sites to look up “complicit” or any other word. She and other lexicographers who study look-up behavior believe it’s likely a combination of people who may not know a definition, are digging deeper or are seeking inspiration or emotional reinforcement of some sort.

The site chooses its word of the year by heading straight for data first, scouring look-ups by day, month and year to date and how they correspond to noteworthy events, Solomon said. This year, a lot of high-volume trends unsurprisingly corresponded to politics.