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'Lockdown' word of the year for Collins Dictionary

Updated: 2020-11-12 10:41:06

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A screenshot of the Collins Dictionary webpage announcing "lockdown" as the word of the year for 2020. [Photo/Collinsdictionary.com]

"Lockdown" was chosen as Collins Dictionary's word of the year for 2020 due to the dramatic increase in usage during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Collins defines lockdown as "the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces."

"The government imposed a national lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus," one of its sample usage sentences reads.

A total of 250,000 usages of "lockdown" have been registered during 2020. Last year, the number was just 4,000.

The word "pandemic" was also shortlisted. According to Collins, usage of the word "coronavirus”increased 35,000-fold year-on-year. Other COVID-19 related words include "furlough," "self-isolate," "social distancing" and "key workers."

Other terms that made the list reflect big social events, such as "BLM," which stands for "Black Lives Matter," according to Collins. The term saw a 581 percent increase in usage.

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