Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice Department. Merriam-Webster has chosen "justice" as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle over months and months.
The word follows "toxic", picked by Oxford Dictionaries, and "misinformation", plucked by Dictonary.com.
Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster's editor at large, said on Monday that "justice" consistently bubbled into the top 20 or 30 lookups on the company's website, spiking at times due to specific events but also skating close to the surface for much of the year.
Words While it's a common word people likely know how to spell and use correctly, Sokolowski pointed to other reasons that drive search traffic.
Among them is an attempt to focus a train of thought around a philosophical problem, or to seek motivation.
The designation for "justice" came soon after President Trump's ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes that included arranging the payment of hush money to conceal his boss' alleged sexual affairs.
He told a judge he agreed to cover up Trump's "dirty deeds" out of "blind loyalty".
Earlier in the year, Kim Kardashian visited the White House twice to discuss prison and sentencing reform with Trump.
Sentencing for drug crimes, a loosening of cannabis laws, a Tesla probe, the Mueller investigation into the Trump campaign: Justice will remain top of mind into the new year .
Often, when Trump tweets about the department of justice, he uses simply "Justice".
On August 1, when he tweeted his wish for then-AG Jeff Sessions to stop the Mueller probe, searches spiked significantly.
Searches for "justice" throughout the year, when compared to 2017, were up 74% on the site , Sokolowski said.