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Dictionary.com reveals word of the year, and it’s not ‘covfefe’

PHOENIX — Despite what the beginning of a tweet from Dictionary.com said, the online dictionary’s word of the year is not covfefe.

No, the made-up word tweeted by President Donald Trump earlier this year was not selected as the “symbol of the year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends,” as Dictionary.com put it.

Instead, the word was “complicit.”

Complicit means “choosing to be involved in an illegal or questionable act, especially with others; having partnership or involvement in wrongdoing.” Or, put simply, it means being, at some level, responsible for something . . . even if indirectly.

Dictionary.com’s article on its word of the year explained that the third-biggest spike in searches for the word “complicit” in 2017 was when Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake used it when explaining his decision to announce his retirement: “I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, Mr. President, I will not be complicit.”

And while the website’s word of the year wasn’t covfefe, it did write that Trump had something to do with why “complicit” was the chosen word.

“President Trump’s statement following the events in Charlottesville in August, in which he said ‘both sides’ were to blame, showed his complicity with ideologies that promote hate, especially directed toward marginalized groups,” the website read.

It also explained the “refusal to be complicit” played a role, including by those who resigned from the Trump administration, those who participated in the Women’s March in January, NFL player Colin Kaepernick and others.

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