For the year 2020 the word is…………..PANDEMIC
According to Merriam-Webster the statistic for looking up the words spiked in February, the first day Covid-19 became an issue in the United States. The online dictionary only saw an increase in look ups as the year went forward, seeing over a 1600% increase in the word.
“The Greek roots of this word tell a clear story: pan means “all” or “every,” and dēmos means “people”; its literal meaning is “of all the people.” The related word epidemic comes from roots that mean “on or upon the people.” The two words are used in ways that overlap, but in general usage a pandemic is an epidemic that has escalated to affect a large area and population.
The dēmos of these words is also the etymological root of democracy.”
The next highest looked-up word was Covid-19. The online dictionary site states: “COVID-19 (has) the distinction of being the fastest term to go from coinage to inclusion in a Merriam-Webster dictionary—the process took only 34 days.”