Most Looked-Up Words

Reviewing the list of most looked-up words on the internet provides a glimpse into what words perplex readers — when they are using real English words as opposed to texting language like BRB, OMG and LOL. According to Merriam-Webster, in 2010 the top ten most frequently words are high-school level words: 

1. Pretentious
2. Ubiquitous
3. Love
4. Cynical
5. Apathetic
6. Conundrum
7. Albeit
8. Ambiguous
9. Integrity
10. Affect/Effect

Clearly, the readers of the New York Times are a more discerning, erudite group of readers since their word look-ups are far more challenging, beyond the average SAT vocabulary. Below is the list of words looked up most often in 2011:

1. Panegyric
2. Immiscible
3. Manichean
4. Inveighs
5. Crepuscular
6. Legerdemain
7. Churlish
8. Risible
9. Anathema
10. Recognizance

According to the Oxford Dictionaries the two most looked-up words in 2011 were “kawaii” (meaning cute) and “get” (hundreds of meanings, taking more than 9 pages in the OED).

For further reading: http://www.merriam-webster.com/top-ten-lists/top-10-most-frequently-looked-up-words/pretentious.html
http://afterdeadline.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/26/more-fancy-words/
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/01/what-were-the-most-looked-up-words-in-2011/


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