Dictionary.com has revealed its choice for 2017's Word of the Year, and Ivanka Trump may want to take note.
The popular dictionary website chose “complicit” as its Word of the Year, in no small part due to Ivanka Trump publicly questioning the word's meaning.
“I don't know what it means to be complicit,” Ivanka Trump told CBS News in April.
Trump had been deemed “complicit” in her father's actions by numerous critics, as well as a popular “Saturday Night Live” sketch featuring actress Scarlett Johansson. According to Dictionary.com, both the “SNL” sketch as well as Ivanka Trump's interview resulted in spikes in look-ups of the word:
The word also had a more recent spike after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) gave an impassioned speech from the floor of the Senate announcing he would not be seeking re-election:
"It must also be said that I rise today with no small measure of regret. Regret, because of the state of our disunion, regret because of the disrepair and destructiveness of our politics, regret because of the indecency of our discourse, regret because of the coarseness of our leadership, regret for the compromise of our moral authority, and by our — all of our — complicity in this alarming and dangerous state of affairs. It is time for our complicity and our accommodation of the unacceptable to end. [...]
The principles that underlie our politics, the values of our founding, are too vital to our identity and to our survival to allow them to be compromised by the requirements of politics. Because politics can make us silent when we should speak, and silence can equal complicity.
I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit."
A post on Dictionary.com's website explains how the word was selected, both because of frequent searches on the site as well as its cultural significance in 2017:
As many of you know from looking up the definition of complicit, there's nothing positive or good about it. In fact, being complicit is decidedly negative, as it means that a person is involved with someone or something that's wrong. Whatever your politics, this meaning is not up for debate.
The post also cites controversial Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt as well as those who protected sexual predators in Hollywood as other examples of notable people who were “complicit” in 2017.
Dictionary.com also highlighted notable people who refused to be complicit, listing Colin Kaepernick, those who marched in protest at the worldwide Women's March, and people who shared their own stories of sexual assault through the #MeToo hashtag.
“It's a word that reminds us that even inaction is a type of action. The silent acceptance of wrongdoing is how we've gotten to this point,” the post reads. “We must not let this continue to be the norm. If we do, then we are all complicit.”