The term "woman" was chosen as Dictionary.com's word of the year.
This year searches for the word woman on Dictionary.com spiked significantly multiple times in relation to separate high-profile events, including the moment when a question about the very definition of the word was posed on the national stage.
During the height of the lookups for woman on Dictionary.com in 2022, searches for the word increased more than 1,400% (a massive leap for such a common word). Subsequent spikes eventually resulted in double the typical annual search volume for the word.
According to Dictionary.com, selection of 'woman' as their 2022 Word of the Year reflects how the intersection of gender, identity, and language dominates the current cultural conversation and shapes much of our work as a dictionary.
The prominence of the question and the attention it received demonstrate how issues of transgender identity and rights are now frequently at the forefront of our national discourse. More than ever, we are all faced with questions about who gets to identify as a woman (or a man, or neither). The policies that these questions inform transcend the importance of any dictionary definition—they directly impact people’s lives.
2022 will be remembered in part for its impact on women, and for women’s impact on a changing world. Also a prime example of the many gender terms undergoing shifts in how and to whom they’re applied.
The other words on Dictionary.com's shortlist, which includes the Ukraine flag emoji, "inflation," "quiet quitting," "democracy," and "Wordle," also provide a glimpse of the year.