'Gaslighting' Is Merriam-Webster's 2022 Word of the Year

Video Credit: Wibbitz Top Stories
Published on November 28, 2022 - Duration: 01:30s

'Gaslighting' Is Merriam-Webster's 2022 Word of the Year

'Gaslighting' , Is Merriam-Webster's 2022 Word of the Year.

Gaslighting is defined as: , "the psychological manipulation of a person, usually over an extended period of time.".

According to Merriam-Webster, gaslighting , “causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, ... ... loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.”.

Compared to 2021, searches for the word on merriam-webster.com , increased 1,740%.

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The word of the year is typically driven by a single significant event that spiked curiosity across the country.

According to NBC, no single event drove curiosity in this year's word, because gaslighting was pervasive.

It’s a word that has risen so quickly in the English language, and especially in the last four years, that it actually came as a surprise to me and to many of us, Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large, via NBC.

It was a word looked up frequently every single day of the year, Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor at large, via NBC.

The term was first penned over 80 years ago in the 1938 play "Gas Light" by Patrick Hamilton.

Years later, the work would be adopted by mental health practitioners to describe a type of prolonged coercive control in abusive relationships.

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NBC reports that those "abusive relationships" extend beyond romantic partners, friends and family, and can include politicians, media and corporations.

NBC reports that those "abusive relationships" extend beyond romantic partners, friends and family, and can include politicians, media and corporations.

NBC reports that those "abusive relationships" extend beyond romantic partners, friends and family, and can include politicians, media and corporations


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Merriam-Webster

American publisher and dictionary

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