Merriam-Webster Names ‘Gaslighting’ as Its Word of 2022.
It means downright deceitful. Manipulating. Misleading. Merriam-Webster has named its word of 2022 – “gaslighting.”
The official definition for “gaslighting,” according to Merriam-Webster, is the psychological manipulation of a person, usually over an extended period of time, that “causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.”
Merriam-Webster said searches for the definition of the word on its website was up 1,740% in 2022 over the year before.
The word was brought to life more than 80 years ago with “Gas Light,” a 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton.
The term gaslighting was later used by mental health practitioners to clinically describe a form of prolonged coercive control in abusive relationships.
If it raises awareness and helps change laws about stalking, I am all for it being the word of the year.
Last year, Merriam-Webster named “vaccine” as its word of the year.
“Pandemic” was Merriam-Webster’s word of the year in 2020.