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We are in the final countdown to leave 2020 – finally. In such an atypical year we wondered what would be the word that could best define and summarize everything that has happened. That word could not be other than pandemic.

After 11 months of what has been a very difficult and turbulent year for most of us, it’s no wonder that for the Word of the Year 2020, “pandemic” has been chosen by both Merriam-Webster and

The truth is that that word has defined our lives this year, as evidenced by an overwhelming number: its searches increased by 115,806% compared to last year.

“In this case, the word of the year is one that has really touched us all. “Pandemic” is not just an important medical term; this period of time is likely to be known forever by this word,” says Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor-in-chief.