After picking "xenophobia" to be its "Word of the Year" in 2016, Dictionary.com has kept things political this year.
It revealed on Thursday that its 2017 Word of the Year is "complicit," which according to its own definition means "choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others."
Funnily enough, much of the interest in the word started in March this year when Saturday Night Live ran a sketch in which Scarlett Johansson plays Ivanka Trump, who is advertising a fragrance called "Complicit."
“The fragrance for the woman who could stop all this, but won’t," the tagline for the sketch reads, a nod to Trump's role in her father's administration.
Searches for "complicit" spiked a month later, when Ivanka Trump told CBS News "I don't know what it means to be complicit."
It re-emerged last month when Sen. Jeff Flake announced his retirement,
So who's been complicit this year?
Dictionary.com continued its political explanation of the word with several well-known examples of potential complicity seen this year.
Here are some of the suggestions it made:
– EPA chief Scott Pruitt's complicity in climate change by refusing to acknowledge the impact of human beings on the warming planet.
– Hollywood actors and moguls like Harvey Weinstein were accused of multiple sexual assaults, but it was their associates who were complicit in their silence and by "turning a blind eye" over the years.
– Twitter and Facebook were complicit in Russia's interference in the 2016 election by allowing them to buy politically-charged propaganda, most of it fake information, in the form of advertising on the social media platforms.
– President Trump was complicit in promoting ideologies of hate by saying "both sides" were to blame for events in Charlottesville, when an anti-fascist protester was killed by a neo-Nazi.
– As one of several examples of "non-complicity," Dictionary.com lists Sen. Flake's decision to retire, where he explicitly uses the word.
"I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit,” he said.