‘Pandemic’ chosen as word of the year 2020 by Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com has declared ‘pandemic’ as its Word of the Year 2020 due to its frequent usage from the beginning of the year as the Covid-19 pandemic rapidly spread across the world. During the Covid-19 lockdown, the searched for ‘pandemic’ skyrocketed on dictionary.com.

Dictionary.com defines the word pandemic as “a disease prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world.” After the loss of life observed across the world and millions of cases reported, the word ‘pandemic’ became a part of everyone’s life.

As the number of Covid-19 cases crossed the 60 million mark and claimed nearly 1.5 million lives across the world, searches for the word ‘pandemic’ skyrocketed 13,575 percent on Dictionary.com compared to 2019.

Amid the confusion and uncertainty brought about due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the searches for ‘pandemic’ increased over 1000 percent every month in 2020 and it remained in the top 10 percent of all lookups for much of the year since.

Top searched words on Dictionary.com

As coronavirus cases increased across the world, the word ‘pandemic’ became one of the top searched words across the world as parents and teachers decided to educate the children about this phenomenon. Apart from the word pandemic, here are some of the highest searched words on Dictionary.com this year-

  • Asymptomatic
  • Furlough
  • Frontliner
  • Coronavirus
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Quarantine
  • Lockdown
  • PPE
  • Social distancing
  • Nonessential

How ‘pandemic’ became Word of the Year 2020

The word ‘pandemic’ became a significant part of everyone’s life across the world as almost the entire world was under lockdown to reduce the risk of infection among citizens. Nearly all the daily activities of a regular person were altered due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The word dramatically reshaped our language, requiring a whole new vocabulary for talking about our new reality. Apart from more obvious terms like Covid-19 and coronavirus, pandemic became the word of the year 2020 for Dictionary.com.


Mean-while, India recorded 22,890 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total caseload to over 99.79 lakh. The number of fresh infections is 4.6 percent down since Thursday. Up to 338 more deaths were reported in this time, taking total fatality to 1,44,789.

The total recovered cases of the country crossed 95 lakh, with over 31,087 recoveries since yesterday, the health ministry said.

COVID-19 cases in India are steadily coming down while the caseload of infection in many parts of the world is experiencing a second or even a third peak, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it is “rapidly” working towards granting emergency approval of Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. A week ago, the same panel backed a vaccine from Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech SE, leading to an FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) a day later.

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