Several major news events contributed to the term's popularity.

By Faith Brar
Updated: December 21, 2017

This year proved to be a big one for female empowerment. It started with women's marches all over the world and is ending with harrowing stories of sexual harassment exposing men in power. That explains why more people have been looking up "feminism," Merriam-Webster's 2017 word of the year.

"No one word can ever encapsulate all the news, events, or stories of a given year," Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster, said in a statement. "But when we look back at the past 12 months and combine an analysis of words that have been looked up much more frequently than during the previous year along with instances of intense spikes of interest because of news events, we see that one word stands out in both categories." (Related: 14 Things You Can Buy to Support Women's Health Organizations)

People started looking up "feminism" early this year-right around when the 2017 Women's March took place, according to a release from Merriam-Webster. The word became highly searched again after Kellyanne Conway made headlines after saying she didn't consider herself to be a feminist. Then recently, searches increased again following the #MeToo movement.

TV shows and movies with strong feminist themes like The Handmaid's Tale and Wonder Woman also contributed to lookups being 70 percent higher than the year before.

For those of you who may not know, Merriam-Webster defines "feminism" as "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes" and "organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests." Something everyone should get behind.



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