Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year describes 2016 in a nutshell


It may not be the end of the year just yet but Oxford Dictionaries knows when it’s time to throw in the towel and call it. That’s why it’s already unveiled its annual word of the year: post-truth.

Defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,” it’s basically the dictionary-preferred version of Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness.” And it perfectly describes the shitshow that is 2016.

An uptick in usage following Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump as a legitimate political figure helped solidify post-truth. It doesn’t exactly work that well to describe the death of all your heroes, but that probably just means 2017 is going to be even worse and the laugh crying emoji picked for 2015 will get usurped by a skull.

April Siese

April Siese

A former Weekend Editor at the Daily Dot, April Siese's reporting covers everything from technology and politics to web culture and humor. Her work has been published by Bustle, Uproxx, Death and Taxes, Rolling Stone, the Daily Beast, Thrillist, Atlas Obscura, and others. Siese joined Quartz in December 2016.