What was the word of 2016, according to Oxford Dictionaries?

Post-truth” is the word of 2016, according to the Oxford Dictionaries*.  This adjective means “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”  Post-truth has often been paired with politics, both in the US and UK, and saw a spike in usage beginning in May (before the Brexit vote), peaking at the time of the US Presidential election in November.

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Contenders for Oxford’s word of the year include:

  • Adulating, a noun: meaning behaving like a responsible adult
  • Alt-right, a noun: an ideological group of extreme conservatives
  • Brexiteer, a noun: a person favoring the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
  • Chatbot, a noun: a computer program which simulates human conversation on the internet
  • Coulrophobia, a noun, an extreme fear of clowns
  • Glass cliff, a noun: a situation in which a woman or minority member gains leadership and where the risk of failure is high
  • Hygge, a noun: cosiness and comfortable socializing, making a person feel well
  • Latinx, a noun or adjective: a person of Latin American descent
  • Woke, woker, wokest, an adjective: alert to injustice, especially racial injustice


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