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dictionaryMerriam-Webster's Word of the Year 2008

With politics and the economy foremost on the minds of many, it is no wonder that bailout—a word ubiquitously featured in discussions of the presidency and fiscal policy—took home honors as Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2008.

Bailout, defined in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, Eleventh Edition as "a rescue from financial distress," received the highest intensity of lookups on Merriam-Webster Online over the shortest period of time. As evident from the 2008 Word of the Year contenders list below, the presidential campaign and financial issues factored heavily in the concerns of our online visitors throughout the year.

Traffic to Merriam-Webster Online now exceeds 125 million individual page views per month. This corresponds to approximately ten lookup requests in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary or Thesaurus per second. During peak hours, this may increase to more than 100 requests per second.

Merriam-Webster's #1 Word of the Year for 2008:

1. bailout (noun) a rescue from financial distress bailout

Click on each of the other words in the Top Ten List for more definitions and information from the Merriam Webster Unabridged Online Dictionary.

2. vet (transitive verb) b: to evaluate for possible approval or acceptance

3. socialism (noun) any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

dictionary4. maverick  (noun) an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

5. bipartisan  (adjective) of, relating to, or involving members of two parties ; specifically : marked by or involving cooperation, agreement, and compromise between two major political parties

6. trepidation (noun) timorous uncertain agitation

7. precipice (noun) a hazardous situation precipice

8. rogue  (noun) a mischievous person    

9. misogyny (noun)  a hatred of women

10. turmoil (noun) a state or condition of extreme confusion, agitation, or commotion  

Previous Words of the Year

And just how does a word get into a Merriam-Webster dictionary, you ask? Click here for the scoop.

Source: Merriam-Webster

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