The word they is the 2019 word of the year, Merriam-Webster announced Tuesday.
The dictionary added the singular they to refer to one person whose gender identity is nonbinary in September.
Merriam-Webster noted that the singular they was prominent in the news throughout the year, citing Rep. Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalOvernight Health Care Presented by That’s Medicaid Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare paymentsJudiciary Democrat: Trump himself is ‘smoking gun’ in impeachment caseLive coverage: Democrats, Republicans seek to win PR battle in final House impeachment hearingMORE’s (D-Wash.) comments during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Equality Act in April that her child is gender-nonconforming and uses the pronoun they.
Singer Sam Smith in September said that they now use the gender non-conforming pronouns, too.
Searches for they increased by 313 percent in 2019 compared to the previous year, Merriam-Webster said.
The dictionary also announced that quid pro quo, a phrase used throughout the impeachment inquiry of President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force dealHouse Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment TuesdayHouston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violenceMORE, was also a top search on its website this year. The term was searched 644 percent more than it was last year, according to Merriam-Webster.
Major spikes in searches for the term happened on dates including Sept. 25, when Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse Democrats expected to unveil articles of impeachment TuesdayImpeachment witness to meet with Senate GOP TuesdayPress: Pelosi strikes back, hatred is a sinMORE (D-Calif.) announced the formal start of the inquiry.
The dictionary added that impeach was also among the top words of 2019, with a 129-percent increase in searches compared to last year.