Category: Language Adventures

December 27, 2023

Searches for Gaslighting

According to Cross-Word Solver, gaslighting was the word most searched for its meaning in the United States during 2023. It peaked at a whopping 130,000 searches each month.

“The U.S. is struggling with words that have gained in currency during the intensifying of the socio-political playfield in recent years. Gaslighting comes from the stage play and Ingrid Bergman-starring movie Gas Light. It involves “making someone seem or feel unstable, irrational and not credible, making them feel like what they’re seeing or experiencing isn’t real, that they’re making it up, that no one else will believe them,” according to Paige Sweet, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan.”

Cross-Word Solver

Cross-Word Solver’s top ten words searched for definition in the U.S. in 2023 are as follows:

  1. Gaslighting was searched 130,000 times monthly.
  2. Empathy 119,000 times.
  3. Metaphor 117,000 times.
  4. Recession 112,000 times.
  5. Simile 85,000 times.
  6. Culture 83,000 times.
  7. Fascism 78,000 times.
  8. Adjective 77,000 times.
  9. Agnostic 74,000 times.
  10. Hyperbole also at 74,000 times.

Annually, Merriam-Webster issues their Word of the Year. They noticed the trend earlier by naming gaslighting their top Word of the Year 2022. Authentic is their Word of the Year for 2023.

Merriam-Webster’s criteria for determining the top word takes into account various factors. These include the number of times a word is searched on their website, the frequency of use in conversation and the media, and the word’s social and cultural relevance.

In Canada, gaslighting ranked #9 in 2023, contrasting with the #1 position in the U.S. Canadians’ most searched 2023 word was woke, followed by racism, recession, and woman.

South America’s most popular search words were state, sovereignty, global isolation, and democracy. Brazil’s most searched term was terrorism. However, the World Population Review ranks Brazil very low on the terrorism scale, with only three incidents recorded during 2023.

The article below breaks down the countries and most searched terms by map. Take a look. The most searched words for meaning allow us to peak into the issues confronting each country’s society.

The Most Searched-for Word Definition in Every Country (

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