Harshit Sbarwal, New Delhi
American dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster highlighted “Gaslighting” as its word for the year. Over the previous year, the number of people searching for the word on the website increased by 1,740 percent in 2022. According to Merriam Webster, gaslighting refers to psychological manipulation of someone, usually over a long period of time. This causes the victim to question their own thoughts, perceptions, or memories. It typically leads to confusion and loss of self-esteem, a dependence on the perpetrator, and confusion.
It is often used by abusive people in relationships and politicians, among other newsmakers.
Gaslighting can occur between romantic partners or within a wider family unit. Gaslighting can also be used by corporations to mislead the general public.
Peter Sokolowski is Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large. He spoke to Associated Press Monday.
Sokolowski stated, “It is a word that was looked up frequently every day of the year.” He noted that the word “gaslighting” was among the top 50 words on Merriam-Webster’s website in 2022, which earned him the top dog word for the year title.
Merriam Webster selects the word of year solely from data. According to the Associated Press, Sokolowski and his colleagues weed out the most common evergreen words in order to see which word has seen a significant boost over the previous year.