Word of the Year 2020

In a typical year, Oxford Languages, a division of Oxford University Press, selects one word of the year: 2019, climate emergency; 2016, post-truth; 2013, selfie (view a complete list of past notables) but 2020? Not a typical year. This year Oxford Languages decided to recognize trendlines and themes, noting words that joined and evolved in our lexicon, words like covid, superspreader, and masking. 2020 revealed language-changing words unrelated to the pandemic, too; words that emerged from California wildfires, Black Lives Matter protests, and the presidential election. All of these words will now make their way into the Oxford English Dictionary where future readers will learn our lived history through language, as readers have done with the OED since its emergence in 1884. Discover the Oxford English Dictionary Online and read the full report: Word of the Year 2020.

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