2008: Bailout -- "A rescue from financial distress."
Selected by huge volume of lookups as Congress was considering $700 billion bailout package for financial industry.
2007: W00t -- "Expression of joy or triumph, or an obvious
victory; abbreviation of 'We Owned the Other Team,' originating
from computer-gaming subculture."
Selected as representative of new words, often whimsical and clever, emerging from new technology.
2006: Truthiness -- "Truth that comes from the gut, not books."
Coined by Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert; selected as Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster's online users.
Picked as national political debates questioned what constitutes "truth," and whether it is subjective. Deemed by Merriam-Webster as a playful term for an important issue.
2005: Integrity -- "Firm adherence to a code;
Picked as national political discourse centered on integrity, and lack thereof, in public servants on national and local levels.
2004: Blog -- "A Web site that contains an online personal
journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided
by the writer. Short for Weblog."
Selected as it rocketed to prominence in midyear, driven by growth and popularity of blogs.
2003: Democracy -- "Government by the people, especially: rule
of the majority, or: a government in which the supreme power is
vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly
through a system of representation usually involving periodically
held free elections."
Selected as one of the most frequently looked up words each year, especially in a campaign season preceding noteworthy elections.
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