'Existential' is Dictionary's 2019 Word of the Year


Posted at Dec 04 2019 01:52 PM

MANILA - Dictionary.com chose "existential" as its word of the year for 2019.

The word, defined as "being concerned with the nature of human existence as determined by one's freely made choices," was prominent in discussions that dominated the year, according to Dictionary.

These include heavy conversations regarding climate change and gun violence as well as lighter stories on pop culture. 

"It captures a sense of grappling with the survival—literally and figuratively—of our planet, our loved ones, our ways of life," it said.

"But, existential also inspires us to ask big questions about who we are and what our purpose is in the face of our various challenges—and it reminds us that we can make choices about our lives in how we answer those questions."

The website also chose the word "nonbinary" as its runner-up word of the year.

It cited the addition of terms inclusive of trans and nonbinary people to its dictionary, such as womxn, an alternative spelling of women used to include trans and nonbinary women.

"In the year 2019, defined by existential threats and crises, the ability to define who we are is a powerful and inspiring example of taking existential control over our lives," it said.