Collins Word of the Year 2020

Each year Collins runs a campaign to find the Collins Word of the Year. It’s a word we feel defines what is happening in the world today and is sourced from the work Collins does throughout the year, to monitor changes in use of words in the English language. The Collins corpus which has 13-billion words, is made up of a range of sources from print publications and the spoken word sources and underpins not only the Collins dictionaries but all our educational publishing.

It has now been announced that the Collins Word of the Year 2020 is ‘lockdown’: ‘the imposition of stringent restrictions on travel, social interaction, and access to public spaces’. Lockdown has been 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.

Helen Newstead, Language Content Consultant at Collins, said:

Language is a reflection of the world around us and 2020 has been dominated by the global pandemic. We have chosen ‘lockdown’ as our word of the year because it encapsulates the shared experience of billions of people who have had to restrict their daily lives in order to contain the virus. Lockdown has affected the way we work, study, shop, and socialize. 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.’  

You can find out more about Collins WOTY 2020 and see the full shortlist here!

Although ‘lockdown’ is a word that sums up the year for most of the world, we hope that, wherever you are, you are able to enjoy the holidays! A very Merry Christmas and a brighter 2021 from Collins.