Word of the year? Oxford Dictionaries says it’s positively ‘toxic’

The Oxford Dictionaries has selected

Oxford Dictionaries is one of the more prestigious dictionaries that we have used in our lives and for a while now, the have been declaring the word of the year annually and it has featured some surprises like the word of the year in 2015 was an emoji.

The adjective is defined as poisonous and first appeared in English in the mid-seventeenth century from the medieval toxicus, meaning poisoned or imbued with poison.

The data shows that along with a 45 per cent rise in the number of times it has been looked up on oxforddictionaries.com, over the past year the word toxic has been used in an array of contexts, both in its literal and more metaphorical senses. The top spot this year goes to "toxic", while the shortlist includes words such as "orbiting", "gaslighting", "techlash" and "gammon" alongside "overtourism".

The data shows that, after "chemical", "masculinity" is the most-used word in conjunction with toxic this year.

'With toxic air, toxic algae, toxic chemicals, toxic fumes, toxic waste, and even toxic slime hitting the headlines.

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'Not to mention the continued public condemnation of the toxicity of plastics.

In 2018, toxic became a descriptor for the year's most talked about topics.

In addition to its literal use, Oxford also cited the word's use to describe everything from workplaces to relationships to stress. Oxford Dictionaries' judgment is that "toxic" illuminates something about this year.

It has chosen the word as its annual "Word of the Year", arguing that it's "the sheer scope of its application that has made it the standout choice", a video posted on the Dictionary's twitter page explains. In 2017, its Word of the Year was "youthquake", defined as "a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people".

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