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Merriam-Webster picks Surreal as word of the year

  • Published at 09:54 pm December 20th, 2016
  • Last updated at 04:32 pm June 1st, 2017
Merriam-Webster picks Surreal as word of the year
Indeed, Merriam-Webster's dictionary on Monday named surreal its Word of the Year 2016, the honour given to the word or term with the sharpest spike in look-ups over the previous year. Surreal, definition: "marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream." It actually triggered not one but a series of sudden jumps in people looking it up. The first came after terrorist bombings in Brussels in March. Thirty-two people died, as did three attackers. It happened again in July after the coup attempt in Turkey and the terrorist attack in Nice, France in which a man driving a truck swerved back and forth through a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks, crushing 86 people to death. But the biggest spike came after Trump -- the tweeting, shoot-from-the-hip political neophyte and property tycoon who insulted women, minorities and Muslims during the campaign -- defeated Hillary Clinton during the November 8 race for the White House. [caption id="attachment_41174" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Merriam-Webster's latest edition of Collegiate Dictionary and Iphone app Collected Merriam-Webster's latest edition of Collegiate Dictionary and Iphone app Collected[/caption] "When we don't believe or don't want to believe what is real, we need a word for what seems 'above' or 'beyond' reality. Surreal is such a word," the dictionary company said in a statement. It said another word looked up big-time in 2016 was 'bigly.' "Donald Trump used the term 'big league' in an unusual way, as an adverb during a debate, and many people thought he said 'bigly'," said Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski.   Bigly actually is in the dictionary, and means in great scope, or with a blustering manner. Clinton's use of "deplorable" as a plural noun to describe some of Trump's supporters -- "a basket of deplorables" -- was also a top trending word for 2016, Merriam-Webster said.