The Collins Dictionary announces its word of the year and there was only ever one candidate

San Francisco, California - As world governments spent the majority of 2020 trying to contain the coronavirus pandemic, Collins English Dictionary on Monday made "lockdown" its word of the year.

Collins Dictionary declared "lockdown" the word of the year.
Collins Dictionary declared "lockdown" the word of the year.  © 123rf/Roman Motizov

Collins said the word, which it defines as "the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction and access to public spaces" was chosen because it is a "unifying experience for billions of people across the world."

Six out of 10 shortlisted words were related to the pandemic including "coronavirus," "self isolate" and "social distancing."

More than 50.2 million cases of the novel coronavirus have been recorded worldwide and over 1.2 million people have died as a result, according to the World Health Organization.

Collins said it registered over 250,000 usages of "lockdown" during 2020, against only 4,000 the previous year.

Other words that made the short list are "TikToker", which Collins defines as "a person who regularly shares or appears in videos on TikTok," the video-sharing app.

The abbreviation "BLM," short for "Black Lives Matter," also made the short list. Collins defines it as "a movement that campaigns against racially motivated violence and oppression." BLM started as an online movement sparked by the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012.

Cover photo: 123rf/Roman Motizov

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