Published On: Wed, Nov 30th, 2016

Word of the year : ‘Xenophobia’ is Dictionary.com’s word of the year for 2016

XenophobiaCurrent Affairs: The website Dictionary.com released its 2016 word of the year, and it’s not a very comforting selection. The Oakland-based site chose “xenophobia” as the term that most accurately summed up the spirit of the age.
  • ‘Xenophobia’ was the most-searched word of 2016, according to Dictionary.com.
  • For the uninitiated, xenophobia means a fear of the “other” or a dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries.
  • The online dictionary defines xenophobia as “fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers,” and also notes in its blog that it can “also refer to fear or dislike of customs, dress, and cultures of people with backgrounds different from our own.”
Why did xenophobia take the top spot?
  • When American President Barack Obama gave a heart-touching speech on June 29, the word ‘xenophobia’ made for a lot of Google searches. As a part of his speech, Obama said, “Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric is not a measure of populism, but rather nativism, or xenophobia, or worse.”
  • Obama’s words clearly didn’t have a very heavy impact on a majority of his country. One of the words he used, though, went on to become Dictionary.com’s word of the year–a word that’s chosen towards the end of each year on the basis of being searched for the most.

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