Macquarie Dictionary


What’s your Word of the Year?

Here at Macquarie Dictionary, we like to let the year end completely before we make a decision on which word to crown Word of the Year. We have a basic policy that all the candidates are drawn from words which have been selected and researched and written into the dictionary during the year, so there is no doubt that our words are real words and have been accepted into the dictionary in the year in question. So, rather than a word that may have re-entered common dialogue, we choose from new words or definitions that have been coined throughout the year.

We will be announcing our Word of the Year soon, but in the meantime, let’s have a look at some of the other words that have been named around the world.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year is surreal. After a plea on social media to change the outcome of their race from fascism, Merriam-Webster were successful in forcing surreal up as their Word of the Year instead of the more depressing fascism. It’s a fitting word for both 2016 and for the process by which it was decided.

Alongside of this, and moving more to the political side of things, Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year is post-truth. Interestingly, post-truth has also entered the Macquarie Dictionary in 2016 and so is in with a chance as our Word of the Year as well. Do you think it’s the best fit for the Australian Word of the Year?

Bringing it down again is’s Word of the Year which is xenophobia. Brexit defined the year for the Collins Dictionary and paranoid for the Cambridge Dictionary, Along with these, post-truth, alt-right, fake news and all the other politically-inclined neologisms to spring out of 2016, it’s bound to be an interesting ride to see what we decide as ours.

But what about the other Australian Word of the Year? The word crowned by the Australian National Dictionary Centre is democracy sausage. Here is another political word (though a good deal more entertaining, light and fluffy) and another word that entered the Macquarie Dictionary in 2016, so another contender for our shortlist. It’s also refreshing to see a fun, enjoyable, quintessentially Aussie word make it to the top.

The Macquarie Dictionary Word of the Year will be announced in mid-January. Keep on top of all our announcements in our newsletter, and find more at our Word of the Year page.


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