Dictionary.com declared “Pandemic” as 2020’s word of the year due to its frequent usage. When the World Health organization announced that the novel coronavirus or COVID 19 outbreak, a global pandemic last March 11, searches for the word skyrocketed to 13,575% when compared to the same day last 2019. Searches for the word remained in the top ten percent of all searches throughout 2020. Other searches related to the pandemic were also at the top, such as “asymptomatic”, “quarantine”, “frontliner”, “lockdown”, and “coronavirus”.

The COVID 19 pandemic crossed the 60 million mark and claimed 1.5 million lives around the globe as of writing. According to the team behind dictionary.com, the word is the “defining context” of 2020. They defined the word pandemic as “a disease prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world.” “This outbreak of new language—matched by a surge of searches for these terms on-site—is unlike anything we’ve ever seen at Dictionary.com. It takes an event on the order of a pandemic to generate such innovation.” The word reshaped our language, allowing the public to use new vocabulary for talking about our new reality.