The Collins English Dictionary has named “lockdown” its word of the year.
“Our lexicographers chose ‘lockdown’ as Word of the Year because it is a unifying experience for billions of people across the world, who have had, collectively, to play their part in combating the spread of Covid-19,” the British dictionary said on its website.
BREAKING NEWS The Collins Word of the Year is… lockdown. Find out more about #CollinsWOTY 2020 and see the full shortlist here: https://t.co/4ZAEE47p9H#wordoftheyear #CollinsDictionary #lockdown pic.twitter.com/3OLL7RfSwS— Collins Dictionary (@CollinsDict) November 9, 2020
The dictionary defines the word as "the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces.” The dictionary logged an increase from only about 4,000 uses of the word in 2019 to more than 250,000 uses in 2020.
Other words that made the shortlist included “coronavirus,” “social distancing,” “key worker,” “furlough,” “self-isolate,” “BLM” and “Megxit,” British media’s term for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s withdrawal from royal duties.
The U.K. recently announced it would reimpose a nationwide lockdown with the nation passing one million cases of the virus.
"We can definitively say that unless we take action now, the [health service] is going to be overwhelmed in ways that none of us could countenance," British Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove said last week.