[Ed. – Not sure how many organizations out there proclaim words of the year. But Collins has spoken. Clearly, these choices aren’t made based on any sympathetic resonance of the selected words with the human psyche. If ever a “word of the year” seemed like it was imposed by the forcible coercion of an alien evil, it’s this one.]
Lockdown, the noun that has come to define so many lives across the world in 2020, has been named word of the year by Collins Dictionary.
Lockdown is defined by Collins as “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces”, and its usage has boomed over the last year. The 4.5bn-word Collins Corpus, which contains written material from websites, books and newspapers, as well as spoken material from radio, television and conversations, registered a 6,000% increase in its usage. In 2019, there were 4,000 recorded instances of lockdown being used. In 2020, this had soared to more than a quarter of a million.