Dictionary.com dubs ‘xenophobia’ as its Word of the Year

Brand execs say they based this year’s word choice on an increased interest in the unfortunate rise of fear of otherness. Here are details.

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A rise in nationalism and public discourse around immigration this year has prompted Dictionary.com to name xenophobia 2016’s Word of the Year.

The site defines xenophobia as, “fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers.”

The U.S. presidential election saw its winning candidate, President-elect Donald Trump, gain votes by championing a ban on Muslims entering the country. President Barack Obama called Trump’s positions an example of “nativism or xenophobia.”

According to Dictionary.com, Obama’s June 30 speech sparked the year’s largest surge in lookups of that word.

Many believe that the U.K. Brexit decision—when the majority of the country’s citizens voted to leave the European Union—was fueled largely by xenophobia as well.

The organization announced its choice in a tweet:

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