'Xenophobia' is Dictionary.com's Word of the Year for 2016

Nov 29, 2016 12:47 IST

The website Dictionary.com named the word 'Xenophobia' as the Word of the Year for 2016.

According to Dictionary.com, there was a massive surge in lookups for the word 'Xenophobia' that was larger than any of the peaks seen in 2016. This rise in lookups was connected to attacks on foreign workers and overall rising xenophobia in South Africa.

The largest spike in Dictionary.com’s data for the word was in the month of June 2016 with a 938 per cent increase in lookups.

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Etymology of Xenophobia

The word Xenophobia has Greek roots. The etymology of the word can be broken down to 'xenos,' which means 'stranger' or 'guest,' and 'phobos,' meaning 'fear' or 'panic.'

What does the word mean?

The word has two definitions on the Dictionary.com:

1. fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers.
2. fear or dislike of the customs, dress, etc., of people who are culturally different from oneself.

Earlier in November 2016, the word ‘Post Truth’ was named as word of the year 2016 by Oxford Dictionaries. The word was selected after research conducted by Oxford Dictionaries unraveled the fact that the use of the word post-truth saw an increase of about 2000 per cent over its usage in 2015.


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Read more Current Affairs on: Xenophobia , Dictionary.com , Word of the Year , Oxford Dictionaries

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