“Gaslighting” has emerged as Merriam-Webster dictionary’s word of the year.
Described as an “act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage,” gaslighting had a 1,740% increase in lookups throughout the year.
Merriam-Webster also said that the term, which drives disorientation and mistrust, can apply in both personal and political contexts.
Psychologist Dr. Anna Tuazon, in a previous interview with GMA News Online, said gaslighting is a form of abuse. One sign is when you start to doubt and no longer trust your own memory and experience.
Ways to help those who have been gaslighted include giving support and empowerment, Tuazon added.
Merriam-Webster’s words of the year for 2020 and 2021 were “pandemic” and “vaccine,” respectively.
Merriam-Webster, which logs 100 million page views a month on its site, chooses its word of the year based solely on data. Its team weeds out evergreen words most commonly looked up to gauge which word received a significant bump over the year before.