Dictionary.com announced its word of the year, and it's giving us hope. Allyship is the word, and it's the first time a new word has been chosen as the word of the year.
Dictionary.com defines allyship as "The status or role of a person who advocates and actively works for the inclusion of a marginalized or politicized group in all areas of society, not as a member of that group but in solidarity with its struggle and point of view and under its leadership."
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2021 was a year that left people grappling with a lot of tough issues, including the continuing effects of the pandemic, political interference in the rights a woman has over her own body, and the effects of climate change. It was also a year when people stood in solidarity with marginalized groups of people, and businesses and organizations began promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The term allyship dates back to the 1800s but has taken on a more modern and relevant meaning alongside increased social justice organizing. Allyship connects to Dictionary.com's other top words of the year, including critical race theory, burnout, and vaccine. Each word speaks to "important aspects of 2022," as Dictionary.com noted.
Dictionary.com also noted that efforts in allyship are "all too often insufficient and imperfect," but the word still "stands out for its role in the path out of the continued crises of 2020 for a better 2022."