Merriam-Webster Picks 'Feminism' as Word of the Year

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For a lot of the same reasons, also recently named "complicit" its 2017 word of the year.

Now defined as, "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes", as well as, "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests", feminism saw a 70 percent spike in searches compared to 2016, according to Merriam-Webster.

In the year that Donald Trump's inauguration triggered nationwide women's protests and powerful men were toppled by a firestorm of sexual misconduct allegations, the leading U.S. dictionary named "feminism" its word of 2017.

It adds that it is also "organised activity on behalf of women's rights and interests".

The Women's March on Washington and other cities around the world the day after President Donald Trump's inauguration in January and the ongoing #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, bookended the 12 months. "And to me, that's what conservative feminism is all about", she said in front of an audience at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in February.

Speaking at a conservative event, she said she found it hard for describe herself as a feminist because she was not "anti-male" and "pro-abortion". "There's an individual feminism, if you will, that you make your own choices".

The word "feminism" has made Merriam-Webster's top ten lists for years, although the origins of the word itself date back hundreds of years.

The dictionary's site elaborated on when "feminism" saw spikes in searches. Merriam-Webster credits the Hulu series "The Handmaid's Tale" and the movie "Wonder Woman".

"The word feminism was being used in a kind of general way", the dictionary's editor-at-large, Peter Sokolowski, told The Associated Press.

What one word can sum up a year marked by Women's Marches, sexual misconduct allegations and the #MeToo movement?

Searches rose following the Women's March on Washington and other United States cities on January 21, the day after Trump was sworn in as president, the dictionary said Tuesday.

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