‘Surreal’ is 2016 Word of the Year

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary named surreal its Word of the Year 2016, the honour given to the word or term with the sharpest spike in look-ups over the previous year.

Surreal, definition: “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream.”

It triggered not one but a series of sudden jumps in people looking it up. The first came after terrorist bombings in Brussels in March.

It happened again in July after the coup attempt in Turkey and the terrorist attack in Nice, France in which a man driving a truck swerved back and forth through a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks, crushing 86 people to death.

But the biggest spike came after Mr. Trump — the shoot-from-the-hip political neophyte and property tycoon — defeated Hillary Clinton during the November 8 race for the White House.