Photo: Octavio Passos (Getty Images)

There are a lot of words that could be used to capture the spirit of the last couple years, like maybe “bullshit” or “nightmare” or “fartpocalypse,” but one that doesn’t immediately spring to mind—given the rampant disregard for the rule of law, the basic core of democracy, and mankind’s general propensity to steal what is not immediately given to them—is “justice.” However, Merriam-Webster has declared “justice” to be its word of the year for 2018, and it seems to be precisely because the world is hungry for it, not because there’s been a lot of justice going around this year.

Merriam-Webster announced that in a press release today, explaining that searches for the word “justice” on its website were high all year long and spiked at different points over the past 12 months. There has also been a lot of news about Trump’s Justice Department and specific searches regarding “obstruction of justice” that centered around stories about Trump and the Mueller investigation, which helped boost the profile of justice in general.

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In a statement, Merriam-Webster’s associate editor and editorial ambassador Emily Brewster noted that “familiar words for abstract concepts” are often the most looked-up, with people looking to find the “detail and nuance that a definition can provide.” She also noted, in a conclusion that seems overtly apolitical, that “justice has been on the minds of many people in 2018.” Now, if only we could actually put some justice into action and try to right some of the fucking wrongs that have been dumped on us, then we’d really be getting somewhere.