‘EXISTENTIAL” IS DICTIONARY.COM’S WORD OF THE YEAR

Following the Oxford English Dictionary naming “climate emergency” its word of the year, Dictionary.com has pointed to climate change, gun violence, the very nature of democracy in choosing “existential” as its word of the year.


The company says the choice reflects months of high-stakes threats and crises, real and contemplated, across the news, the world and throughout 2019.

Senior research editor John Kelley says the word speaks to this sense of grappling with our survival, both literally and figuratively; adding “existential” earned top of mind awareness in sustained searches in the aftermath of wildfires, hurricanes and mass shootings.

The Oxford Dictionary chose “climate emergency” citing usage evidence that reflects the “ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year.