Merriam-Webster Names “Pandemic” As Word Of 2020

Axios reports:

Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, told AP that after the World Health Organization declared on March 11 the COVID-19 outbreak to be a pandemic, searches for the word on Merriam-Webster.com were 115,806% higher than for the same period in 2019.

Runners up for word of the year based on lookup surges related to the pandemic were “coronavirus,” “quarantine” and “asymptomatic,” per AP.

Non-virus considerations that saw spikes included “defund,” in relation to the “defund the police” campaign, “antebellum” after country group Lady A dropped the word from their name because of its association with pre-Civil War slavery.