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Dictionary.com announced last month its word of 2022 was “woman.” A statement on its website said that “woman” is one of the oldest words in the English language.

“One that’s fundamental not just to our vocabulary but to who we are as humans,” it states. “And yet it’s a word that continues to be a source of intense personal importance and societal debate.”

The website adds that searches for the word “woman” spiked significantly during 2022, including the moment when the question about the very definition of the word was put forth on the national stage.

“Our selection of woman as our 2022 Word of the Year reflects how the intersection of gender, identity, and language dominates the current cultural conversation and shapes much of our work as a dictionary,” the website states.

The biggest search spike for the word took place in March during the confirmation hearing for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Brown Jackson said she couldn’t provide a definition for the word “woman.”


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