Lockdown, the containment measure implemented by governments around the world to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has been named the Collins Dictionary Word of the Year 2020.
According to the dictionary, lockdown is defined as “the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces”.
“Our lexicographers chose lockdown as Word of the Year because it is a unifying experience for billions of people across the world, who have had, collectively, to play their part in combating the spread of Covid-19,” Collins said.
“Language is a reflection of the world around us and 2020 has been dominated by the global pandemic,” said Helen Newstead, language content consultant at Collins.
“Lockdown has affected the way we work, study, shop, and socialise. With many countries entering a second lockdown, it is not a word of the year to celebrate but it is, perhaps, one that sums up the year for most of the world,” she said.
The dictionary said it registered over a quarter of a million usages of the word lockdown during 2020, against only 4,000 the previous year.
Several other words related to the pandemic are included in Collins’s long list of the top 10 words of the year, which include furlough or the temporary laying-off of employees.