What is the word of the year 2021 according to the Cambridge dictionary? (hint: this is not a “pandemic”)

What is the word of the year 2021 according to the Cambridge dictionary? (hint: this is not a “pandemic”)

The word of the year for 2021 – according to the Cambridge Dictionary – is “perseverance,” with editors crediting global interest in NASA’s mission to Mars.

Searches for the word increased after Perseverance Rover made its last descent to the Red Planet on February 18, with 30,487 searches for “perseverance” between February 19 and February 25 of this year.

It was consulted on the Cambridge Dictionary website more than 243,000 times worldwide in 2021.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carries NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover vehicle. (Photo: NASA)

Perseverance is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “a continuous effort to do or accomplish something, even when it is difficult or takes a long time”.

Cambridge Dictionary editor Wendalyn Nichols said it “made sense” that searches for the word increased after NASA’s Mars Rover descended.

“We often see spikes in searches for words associated with current events when those words are less familiar. “

She said the editors considered it an appropriate word, given the challenges of 2021.

Learn more about Mars Perseverance Rover

Donald Trump’s tribulations also led to an increase in searches for words like “impeachment”

“Just as it takes persistence to land a rover on Mars, it takes persistence to face the challenges and disruption to our lives due to COVID-19, climate disasters, political instability and conflict. Said Ms. Nichols.

“We enjoyed this connection, and we think Cambridge dictionary users too. “

In January of this year, searches of the Cambridge Dictionary website increased for “insurgency,” “impeachment,” “inauguration,” and “acquittal,” as the US presidential election gained worldwide attention.

The editors said this provides further evidence that words searched for in the Cambridge Dictionary often reflect current world events.


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