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Merriam-Webster Has a Surreal Choice for Its 2016 Word of the Year

This was a very fitting word to describe the last 12 months.

Merriam-Webster has selected “surreal” as its choice for the 2016’s word of the year. The dictionary defines it as “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream,” which may sum up the year that was, considering the wild presidential election, the Brexit vote and police violence, among other topics that dominated the news cycle. Heck, even the Cubs won the World Series, which may be the most surreal thing that’s ever happened.

The word was crowned the big winner because it has a high number of people looking up its meaning, as well as a healthy jump in searches over the previous year.

“Surreal” comes on the heels of choosing “xenophobia” as its word of the year, another nod to current events that captivated our attention.

Other words in 2016 that Merriam-Webster cited included “revenant,” “icon,” “bigly,” “deplorable,” “irregardless” and “feckless.”

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