Merriam-Webster defines gaslighting as “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone, especially for personal gain”. It is from the 1938 play (later a 1944 film) titled Gas Light, in which a man convinces his wife that she is imagining the lights are fading to convince her that she loses his mind so he can steal from her.
Merriam-Webster noted, “In 2022 there was a 1740% increase in searches for gas lighting, with great interest year-round.”
The nine runner-up words of 2022 were: oligarch, omicron, codify, LGBTQIA, sentient, clayey, raid, and queen consort. Visit Merriam-Webster’s website for more information on why these words have become popular search terms in 2022.
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