Published December 20, 2010
Indicative of the tough economic and political events of 2010, "austerity" ranked as the word of the year, topping the list of the most searched words on Merriam-Webster.com.
"Austerity" -- defined as "enforced or extreme economy" -- was the most looked-up term throughout the year but particularly when Europe's debt crisis gained attention in the spring.
"Austerity clearly resonates with many people," Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large at Merriam-Webster, said in a statement Monday.
"We often hear it used in the context of government measures, but we also apply it to our own personal finances and what is sometimes called the new normal," he added.
The number two most looked-up word was "pragmatic," followed by "moratorium" in third place, and "socialism" coming in at number four.
"Ebullient" came eighth on the list based on its popularity in October as the rescue of 33 trapped Chilean miners was broadcast worldwide.
Top Ten Words of the Year for 2010
Read more: http://www.merriam-webster.com/info/10words.htm