Merriam-Webster have chosen “culture” as the Word of the Year for the United States.
The other nine words that appear on this “top 10″ list include nostalgia, insidious, legacy, feminism, je ne sais quoi, innovation, surreptitious, autonomy, and morbidity. The team posted a word cloud image featuring all ten words on Twitter (embedded above). The web edition of this dictionary has listed several definitions for “culture”:
- The act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education.
- Expert care and training.
- Enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training.
- The integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations.
- The act or process of cultivating living material.
Here’s more from Merriam-Webster.com: “Culture is a big word at back-to-school time each year, but this year lookups extended beyond the academic calendar. The term conveys a kind of academic attention to systematic behavior and allows us to identify and isolate an idea, issue, or group: we speak of a ‘culture of transparency’ or ‘consumer culture.’ Culture can be either very broad (as in ‘celebrity culture’ or ‘winning culture’) or very specific (as in ‘test-prep culture’ or ‘marching band culture’).”