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Merriam-Webster selects 'gaslighting' as word of the year

Word of the Year Merriam Webster
Posted at 10:30 AM, Nov 28, 2022

Gaslighting in Merriam-Webster's word of the year.

The dictionary defines gaslighting as “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage.”

Merriam-Webster says it saw a 1,740% increase in lookups for the word in 2022.

Gaslighting is a word that has taken on renewed interest in the digital age. Various types of "gaslighting" can be seen on social media, dating websites and apps, and the dark web.

Merriam-Webster notes that it's different from a lie for a fraud.

"Unlike lying, which tends to be between individuals, and fraud, which tends to involve organizations, gaslighting applies in both personal and political contexts," Merriam-Webster notes.

The dictionary says gaslighting's origins date back to a 1938 play based on a man attempting to make his wife believe she was going insane.