Misinformation, Loki, And Other Trending Words This Week

From the Dictionary.com Word of the Year to NASA’s years-long mission to land a spacecraft on Mars, the words that trended in searches this week are out of this world (if we do say so ourselves). Ready? Set? Learn!

Misinformation

It’s official! The Dictionary.com Word of the Year is misinformation, a word we chose after careful consideration. We’re glad to see from your dictionary searches this week that our announcement piqued plenty of interest!

So, what is misinformation? We’re so glad you asked. Dictionary.com defines it as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.”

WATCH: These Experts Help Explain “Misinformation” In 2018

Loki

Fan theories about the future of the Avengers ran amuck on the internet this week, and there was no stone left unturned in the search for answers about the fate of actor Tom Hiddleston’s beloved character.

Even Dictionary.com saw an uptick in searches for the meaning of Loki, who—in addition to being the brother of Thor in the Marvel series—was a god in Scandinavian mythology who was known for being a trickster.

Anti-intellectual

Talk show host Stephen Colbert has always had a way with words. His coinage of truthiness has even been officially entered into the Dictionary.com database.

But, it was Colbert’s joke on Wednesday’s Late Show about the president “stealing my anti-intellectual property” that helped searches climb 192% for the meaning of anti-intellectual.

As an adjective, the word refers to “of, relating to, or characteristic of a person opposed to or hostile toward intellectuals and the modern academic, artistic, social, religious, and other theories associated with them.”

Food web

There was plenty of talk about food webs this week—from a New York Times article about the impending insect apocalypse to the news that warming ocean waters are having a disastrous effect on fish.

Searches climbed this week with folks learning that a food web is “a series of organisms related by predator-prey and consumer-resource interactions; the entirety of interrelated food chains in an ecological community.”

Mephitis

The New York Times Crossword can often be counted upon to teach folks a new word or two.

This week it was mephitis that sent curious cruciverbalists to Dictionary.com for answers. The noun refers to “a noxious or pestilential exhalation from the earth, as poison gas.”

Geodesy

NASA’s InSight spacecraft made its landing on Mars this week after traveling 300 million miles to get there. Officially dubbed the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, the mission helped searches for the meaning of geodesy rocket 1,900%.

The noun refers to “the branch of applied mathematics that deals with the measurement of the shape and area of large tracts of country, the exact position of geographical points, and the curvature, shape, and dimensions of the earth.”

Heteronormative

A profile of actress Lena Dunham on The Cut, written by Allison P Davis, earned its viral moment this week, and along with it was a leap in searches for the meaning of heteronormative.

Dunham addressed the breakup of her friendship with singer Lorde in the profile, including Lorde’s relationship with Dunham’s ex-boyfriend Jack Antonoff. Antonoff, by the way, is the one who actually used the word heteronormative. He’s quoted in the piece calling rumors of his relationship with Lorde ““dumb heteronormative gossip.” So, what does that mean?

As an adjective, heteronormative is “noting or relating to behavior or attitudes consistent with traditional male or female gender roles and the assumption of heterosexuality as the norm.”

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