The word "justice" has been chosen as word of the year in 2018 by Merriam-Webster, a well-known U.S. publisher of dictionaries and other reference books.
(File photo: VCG)
"Our Word of the Year for 2018 is justice," Merriam-Webster said in a statement on Monday. "It was a top lookup throughout the year at Merriam-Webster.com, with the entry being consulted 74 percent more than in 2017."
The publishing company said that concept of justice "was at the center of many of our national debates in the past year," and that whenever the word has been a subject of discussion, "the question of just what exactly we mean when we use the term "justice" is relevant, and part of the discussion."
According to the statement, the word "justice" has appeared in many news stories involving the U.S. government's executive branch charged with law enforcement duties, such as the Department of Justice (DoJ) that's often abbreviated to "justice."
Meanwhile, the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, which is being carried out by the DoJ, has also generated numerous news reports throughout the year, thus giving "justice" constant exposure.
U.S. President Donald Trump's alleged obstruction of justice, which the Mueller investigation has especially been looking into, has also contributed to the presence of the word.
In addition, Merriam-Webster also pointed out that the word "justice," as a synonym or title for "judge," has also been frequently used in news reports on Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation as an associate judge of the U.S. Supreme Court, a decision by Trump which stirred controversy, and which the Senate approved by a 50-48 margin in October.
"The word and the concept of justice have been at the center of so many of our national debates in the past year: racial justice, social justice, criminal justice, and economic justice," said Peter Sokolowski, editor at large of Merriam-Webster. "Any conversation about these topics can naturally lead to seeking a clearer idea of what we mean when we speak of justice."
Merriam-Webster has been publishing words of the year since 2003. The word "surreal" won the title in 2016, and for 2017 the choice was "feminism."