The word, with a variety of meanings and implications, leads the "2013 Big Words on Campus" list and typically provides the biggest spike in "lookups" every September, a Merriam-Webster statement said Wednesday.
"A generation ago many courses of study were oriented toward analysis of the individual and society, but today everything from classical Greek to sports nutrition to manga seems to reflect culture," editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski said.
Other prominent words ready for a search of their definition are "diversity," "plagiarize," "pedagogy," "rhetoric," aesthetic" and "heuristic," Merriam-Webster said.
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