''Toxic'' Is Oxford Dictionary's Word Of The Year

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Oxford Dictionaries says it found a 45 percent increase in look-ups of toxic and it was used in so many situations that "the sheer scope of its application, as found by our research, made toxic the stand-out choice for the Word of the Year title".

That's the view of the esteemed Oxford Dictionaries, the British publisher that has been been defining language - and our times - for over 150 years. The top spot this year goes to "toxic", while the shortlist includes words such as "orbiting", "gaslighting", "techlash" and "gammon" alongside "overtourism".

"'Toxic" is defined as "poisonous" (from the Greek toxikon pharmakon, meaning "poison for arrows"), and the word "became an intoxicating descriptor for the year's most talked about topics", according to an official statement from Oxford Dictionaries.

"With the #MeToo movement putting a spotlight on toxic masculinity, and watershed political events like the Brett Kavanaugh Senate judiciary committee hearing sparking worldwide debate, the term toxic masculinity has well and truly taken root in the public consciousness and got people talking in 2018", the statement said.

'And its not just the physical being touted as toxic this year.

'With toxic air, toxic algae, toxic chemicals, toxic fumes, toxic waste, and even toxic slime hitting the headlines.

But it adds that "toxic" has "truly taken off into the realm of metaphor, as people have reached for the word to describe workplaces, schools, cultures, relationships and stress".

'Lending a personal angle to this year of toxicity'.

Words like "environment", "relationship" and "culture" were habitually used alongside toxic. In 2017, its Word of the Year was "youthquake", defined as "a significant cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people".

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