As 2017 comes to a close, Dictionary.com has named its 2017 Word of the Year.
The word is complicit.
According to the reference site, to be complicit is “choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act” and “having partnership or involvement in wrongdoing.”
According to The Associated Press, search for the word increased nearly 300 percent over last year.
“This year a conversation that keeps on surfacing is what exactly it means to be complicit,” lexicographer Jane Solomon told the AP. “Complicit has sprung up in conversations about those who speak out against powerful figures in institutions, and those who stay silent.”
Online searches for the word spiked three times this year, CNN reported.
The first surge came in March when actress Scarlett Johansson was cast as Ivanka Trump in a “Saturday Night Live” skit in which Johansson’s character touted a fragrance called Complicit.
The slogan for the parody perfume was, “She’s beautiful, she’s powerful, she’s complicit. The fragrance for the woman who could stop all this but won’t.”
The next month, the real Ivanka Trump said to Gayle King of “CBS This Morning,” “I don't know what it means to be complicit.”
Months later, in late October, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., used the word while announcing his retirement.
“I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit,” Flake said.
Read more at The Associated Press.
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