For the first time, Merriam-Webster selected a suffix as a Word of the Year, choosing –ism. Merriam-Webster’s criteria are: “the words must show a high volume of lookups and a significant year-over-year increase in lookups at Merriam-Webster.com.” Seven words that end in –ism fulfilled these criteria: socialism, fascism, racism, feminism, communism, capitalism, and terrorism. Merriam-Webster noted, “In 2015, it was clear that we had a lot of serious issues on our minds.”
“The suffix –ism goes all the way back to Ancient Greek, and was used in Latin and medieval French on its way to English,” according to Merriam-Webster. “There are 2733 English words ending in –ism entered in Merriam-Webster’s unabridged dictionary.”
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