NEW YORK — Dictionary.com announced Monday that “complicit” is the site’s word of the year in a contentious 2017.
Site lexicographer Jane Solomon says numerous events, from politics to natural disasters, drove more people to look up “complicit” at particular times of the year. Overall, she said, look-ups of the word increased nearly 300 per cent over 2016.
The first of three major spikes for the word struck March 12. That was the day after “Saturday Night Live” aired a sketch starring Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka Trump in a glittery gold dress peddling a fragrance called “Complicit.” Interest spiked again in April after President Donald Trump’s oldest daughter sat down for a CBS interview. Ivanka said, among other things: “I don’t know what it means to be complicit.”
Arizona Republican Jeff Flake prompted another spike in October when he said from the U.S. Senate floor he would not seek re-election. Flake explained: “I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit.”