Dictionary.com has finally released their word of the year.
On Monday (6 December), dictionary named “allyship” as their top word, which means “the status or role of a person who advocates and actively works for the inclusion of marginalised or politicized group in all areas of society, not as a member of that group but in solidarity with its struggle and point of view and under its leadership.”
This is the first time that the website has selected a word that was added into its database that same year.
Before “allyship” was officially added onto the site, the word “ally’ was one of the top 850 searched terms and brought in an influx of users throughout 2020 and 2021.
Dictionary.com also reported that visitors often used the word in reference to the LGBTQ+ and Black communities.
“Allyship” was also used when referencing essential workers like doctors, nurses, teachers and airline employees.
Before the reveal, Dictionary.com’s director of content and education John Kelly released a statement to the Associated Press praising the choice.
View this post on Instagram
“It might be a surprising choice for some. In the past few decades, the term has evolved to take on a more nuanced and specific meaning. It is continuing to evolve and we saw that in many ways,” he explained.
“This year, we saw a lot of businesses and organizations very prominently, publicly, beginning efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. Allyship is tied to that.
“In the classroom, there is a flashpoint around the term critical race theory. Allyship connects with this as well.”
Even though “allyship” was recently added to Dictionary.com, there is evidence of the word being used in the 1800s.
Even the root of the word “ally” has historic beginnings with it first being recorded around the late 1200s and early 1300s.
With such an important and multi-layered term taking on the mantle, the site is hopeful that more users will practice its meaning in 2022.
“While we must acknowledge that efforts at allyship are all too often insufficient and imperfect, the word nonetheless stands out for its role in the path out of the continued crises of 2020 for a better 2022,” Dictionary.com said in a statement.