May 18, 2022

“Culture” Tops Merriam-Webster’s Top 10 Words of 2014 List


This year’s list was compiled by analyzing the top lookups in the online dictionary at and focusing on the words that showed the greatest increase in lookups this year as compared to last year. The results, based on approximately 100 million lookups a month, shed light on topics and ideas that sparked the nation’s interest in 2014.

The Word of the Year, with the greatest number of lookups and a significant increase over last year, is culture. Culture is not associated with any one event, but instead dominated the headlines this year, on topics ranging from “celebrity culture” to “rape culture” to “company culture.” In years past, lookups for the word culture spiked in the fall, as students encountered the word in titles and descriptions of courses and books, but this year lookups have moved from seasonal to persistent, as culture has become a term frequently used in discussions of social phenomena.

Merriam-Webster: Top 10 Words of the 2014

  1. Culture
  2. Nostalgia
  3. Insidious
  4. Legacy
  5. Feminism
  6. Je ne sais quoi
  7. Innovation
  8. Surreptitious
  9. Autonomy
  10. Morbidity

Learn More About Each Word on the List

See Also: 2014 Word of the Year Slide Show

See Also: Video: 2014 Word of the Year (vis

More Words of the Year 2014 Lists

See Also: Oxford Dictionaries Has Selected “Vape” as the 2014 International Word of the Year (November 17, 2014)

See Also:  “Exposure” Named 2014 Word of the Year by

See Also:  The Heart ♥ Emoji (for love) is Top Word, Pope Francis topped by Ebola as Top Name, “Hands Up, No Shoot” is Top Phrase (via Global Language Monitor)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.