'Gaslighting' is Merriam-Webster's 2022 word of the year

Posted at 7:28 AM, Nov 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-28 08:51:11-05

(WXYZ) — Merriam-Webster has announced that "gaslighting" is the word of the year for 2022, saying it is a word for our time.

Gaslighting is "the act or practice of grossly misleading someone, especially for one’s own advantage," and there as a 1,740% increase in lookups for gaslighting on Merriam-Webster this year, the company said.

According to the dictionary, the term comes from the title of a 1938 play and the move based on the play, where a man tries to make his wife believe she is going insane.

Merriam-Webster said in recent years, the term has been used to refer to something more simple and broader to include modern forms of deception or manipulation.

Other top lookups for 2022 include:

  1. Oligarch
  2. Omicron
  3. Codify
  5. Sentient
  6. Loamy
  7. Raid
  8. Queen Consort

Past words of the year from Merriam-Webster include Pandemic in 2020, "They" in 2019, "Justice" in 2018, "Feminism" in 2017, "Surreal" in 2016 and "–ism" in 2015.