‘Gaslighting’ is Merriam-Webster’s 2022 word of the year
This year, the number of times people looked up Merriam-Webster’s definition of gaslighting skyrocketed 1740 percent compared to 2021.
So it seems fitting that the dictionary named it 2022’s word of the year.
Merriam-Webster actually has two definitions for the noun.
The first is as follows: “psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator.”
US-based author of The Gaslight Effect, Dr Robin Stern, outlined the insidious nature of gaslighting, writing: “It’s a form of emotional abuse and manipulation that is difficult to recognize and even harder to break free from.”
But as Merriam-Webster explained in a blog post, people these days don’t just use gaslighting to describe total reality-distorting manipulation. It can also refer more generally to “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage.” 但《韦氏词典》在一篇博文中表示，现在gaslighting不仅形容扭曲事实的思想控制，也可以泛指“特专指为自己的利益而严重误导别人的行为或做法”。
With all the disinformation floating around the internet, it can be tough to realize when you’re being gaslighted into discarding your own perceptions or beliefs.