Collins Dictionary named “fake news” its Word of the Year for 2017, it announced today.
The term will enter the dictionary’s next print edition after its usage surged by 365 percent in the last 12 months, according to Collins Dictionary. The expression describes “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting,” it said.
The term is overwhelmingly associated with U.S. President Donald Trump, who frequently uses the expression in an effort to erode the credibility of media outlets critical of his presidency.
In a recent interview, Trump even claimed to have invented it: “The media is really, the word, one of the greatest of all terms I’ve come up with, is ‘fake,'” he told Mike Huckabee on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. “I guess other people have used it perhaps over the years but I’ve never noticed it. And it’s a shame.”
Collins Dictionary acknowledged the U.S. president popularized “fake news” over the past year, but said it first started to be used on U.S. television in the noughties. American dictionary Merriam Webster estimates the term’s etymological roots go back to the 19th century, citing headlines using the expression as early as 1890.
Shortlisted words for the Collins Dictionary Word of the Year included: gig economy, Corbynmania, antifa, echo chamber and gender-fluid.