“Allyship” Is Dictionary.com’s Word Of The Year

“In the past few decades, the term has evolved to take on a more nuanced and specific meaning,” said John Kelly, content overseer for Dictionary.com. “It is continuing to evolve and we saw that in many ways.”  

The word of the year is “Allyship” according to Dictionary.com.

“It might be a surprising choice for some,” said company content overseer John Kelly in a statement to the AP. “In the past few decades, the term has evolved to take on a more nuanced and specific meaning. It is continuing to evolve and we saw that in many ways.”  

The news outlet reports that “allyship” is a relatively new addition to the website, having only been added as a word on Dictionary.com a month ago. It has two meanings. The first defines a group of organizations or individuals that align themselves for a common cause, while the second refers to the advocacy for a marginalized group of which the advocate is not a member. 

It’s this second definition for which “allyship” was named word of the year, following increased calls for racial justice and societal equity for all groups. 

“This year, we saw a lot of businesses and organizations very prominently, publicly, beginning efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Kelly said. “Allyship is tied to that.” 

Additionally, he told the AP that without an entry for “allyship” in the company’s online dictionary, Dictionary.com saw a rise in searches for “ally.” The company refined the definition of “allyship” and added it to the lexicon as a result of this surge in interest. 

 


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