LONDON, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Oxford Dictionaries announced that it has chosen "toxic" as its annual "Word of the Year", British media reported Friday.
Defining the word as "poisonous", Oxford said it had become a "descriptor for the year's most talked about topics", citing the adjective's use to describe everything from the debate around Brexit to the environment and masculinity.
The dictionary pointed to a 45 percent rise in the number of times the word has been looked up on its website, and said it best captured "the ethos, mood, or preoccupations" of 2018, thanks to "the sheer scope" of its application.
"Toxic" has defeated other shortlisted words, such as "big dick energy" and the derogatory term "gammon", to become the word of the year, according to the dictionary.
Oxford Dictionaries said that the "Me Too" movement has "put the spotlight on toxic masculinity" whereas in politics more broadly "the word has been applied to the rhetoric, policies, agendas and legacies of leaders and governments around the globe".
Oxford's word of the year is intended to "reflect the passing year in language". 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".