‘Gaslighting’ is Merriam-Webster’s 2022 Word of the Year 

November 29, 2022

By Ramya

Why is Gaslighting the word of the year? 

American dictionary calls term 'a word for our time' in an age of fake news, misinformation and conspiracy theories. Gaslighting – a word that describes behaviour that manipulates the mind, is misleading and downright deceitful – is the Merriam-Webster dictionary's word of the year.

How does Merriam-Webster Choose the word of the year? 

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year is determined by data: the word must have been a top lookup at in the past twelve months, and it must have seen a significant increase in lookups over the previous year.

Why the term gaslighting is overused? 

One of the main reasons I think the term gaslighting is overused is that it seems to be used often in a very broad sense to mean invalidating people's experiences of reality.

What is the root cause of gaslighting? 

“There are two main reasons why a gaslighter behaves as they do,” Sarkis explains. “It is either a planned effort to gain control and power over another person, or it because someone was raised by a parent or parents who were gaslighters, and they learned these behaviors as a survival mechanism.

What does gaslighting mean in 2022? 

Updated: 4:19 PM EST Nov 28, 2022. By LEANNE ITALIE Associated Press. "Gaslighting" — behavior that's mind manipulating, grossly misleading, downright deceitful — is Merriam-Webster's word of the year.Lookups for the word on increased 1,740% in 2022 over the year before.

Is gaslighting a new word? 


The term "gaslighting" encapsulates some of the other common terms we associate with misinformation -- "deepfakes" and "fake news" among them, per Merriam-Webster. We owe the term "gaslighting" to the 1938 play and 1944 film "Gaslight" (itself a remake of a film from 1940).

What does the term gaslighting mean today? 


Gaslighting is a term used to describe the act of using psychological manipulation to get another person to question their own feelings, perception, or sanity.