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Word of the year? Oxford Dictionaries says it’s positively ‘toxic’

The Oxford Dictionaries has selected "toxic" as its 2018 Word of the Year. | YouTube

The Oxford Dictionaries has selected "toxic" as its 2018 Word of the Year. | YouTube/Oxford

Oxford Dictionaries has named “toxic” as its Word of the Year for 2018.

The Oxford team defines its word of the year as “a word or expression chosen to reflect the passing year in language” and makes it choice based on a word that  “best captures the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year.”

‘Toxic” is defined as “poisonous” (from the Greek toxikon pharmakon, meaning “poison for arrows”), and the word “became an intoxicating descriptor for the year’s most talked about topics,” according to an official statement from Oxford Dictionaries.

In addition to its literal use, Oxford also cited the word’s use to describe everything from workplaces to relationships to stress.

In a statement, Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Dictionaries said: “Reviewing this year in language we repeatedly encountered the word ‘toxic’ being used to describe an increasing set of conditions that we’re all facing. Qualifying everything from the entrenched patriarchy to the constant blare of polarizing political rhetoric, ‘toxic’ seems to reflect a growing sense of how extreme, and at times radioactive, we feel aspects of modern life have become.”