Oxford Dictionaries announces 2016 word of the year

Quick — think of a word that perfectly sums up the year 2016. OK, now think of a word that we can actually say on air.

According to the Oxford Dictionaries, the word you're looking for is "post-truth." The dictionary's new Word of the Year is defined as "circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief."

Related: US News' best colleges rankings: 2017

US News best colleges rankings: 2017
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US News best colleges rankings: 2017

20 (tie). Emory University, Georgia 

Undergraduates: 6,867
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $47,954

(Photo via Shutterstock)

20 (tie). Georgetown University, Washington D.C.

Undergraduates: 7,562
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $50,547

(Photo via Shutterstock)

20 (tie). University of California -- Berkeley 

Undergraduates: 27,496
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $13,509 (in-state); 40,191 (out-of-state)

(Photo via Getty Images)

19. Washington University in St. Louis

Undergraduates: 7,504
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $49,770

(Photo via Shutterstock)

15 (tie). Cornell University, New York

Undergraduates: 14,315
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $50,953

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15 (tie). Rice University, Texas

Undergraduates: 3,910
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $43,918

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15 (tie). University of Notre Dame, Indiana

Undergraduates: 8,462
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $49,685

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15 (tie). Vanderbilt University, Tennessee

Total undergraduate enrollment: 6,883
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $45,610

(Photo via Shutterstock)

14. Brown University, Rhode Island

Undergraduates: 6,652
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $51,367

(Photo via Getty Images)

12 (tie). California Institute of Technology

Undergraduates: 1,001
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $47,577

(Photo via Getty Images)

12 (tie). Northwestern University, Illinois

Undergraduates: 8,314
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $50,855

(Photo via Getty Images)

11. Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

Undergraduates: 4,307
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $51,438

(Photo via Getty Images)

10. Johns Hopkins University, Maryland

Undergraduates: 6,524
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $50,410

(Photo by Danita Delimont via Getty Images)

8 (tie). University of Pennsylvania

Undergraduates: 9,726
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $51,464

(Photo by Jia He via Getty Images)

8 (tie). Duke University, North Carolina

Undergraduates: 6,639
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $51,265

(Photo by Lance King via Getty Images)

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Undergraduates: 4,527
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $48,452

(Photo by Wangkun Jia via Getty Images)

5 (tie). Stanford University, California

Undergraduates: 6,999
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $47,940

(Photo by Nancy Nehring via Getty Images)

5 (tie). Columbia University, New York

Undergraduates: 6,102
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $55,056

(Photo via Shutterstock)

3 (tie). Yale University, Connecticut

Undergraduates: 5,532
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $49,480

(Photo via Shutterstock)

3 (tie). University of Chicago

Undergraduates: 5,844
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $52,491

(Photo by Nisian Hughes via Getty Images)

2. Harvard University, Massachusetts

Undergraduates: 6,699
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $47,074

(Photo via Shutterstock)

1. Princeton University, New Jersey

Undergraduates: 5,402
Tuition and fees (2016-2017): $45,320

(Photo via Getty Images)


More from Newsy: Why Facts Should Matter In Politics

The dictionary traces the word's modern usage back to a 1992 essay reflecting on the Ronald Reagan administration's trade of arms to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages.

During his apology for the scandal, President Reagan told the nation, "My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not."

But the word got a serious workout this year. According to Oxford, its usage increased 2,000 percent over its usage in 2015.

The Oxford Dictionaries team attributes that spike to two major geopolitical events: the U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump's election to the U.S. presidency.

Oxford Dictionaries President Casper Grathwohl said the choice "reflects a year dominated by highly charged political and social discourse. Fueled by the rise of social media as a news source and a growing distrust of facts offered up by the establishment, post-truth as a concept has been finding its linguistic footing for some time."

More from Newsy:Europe's Far-Right Finds Inspiration In Trump's Win

Oxford Dictionaries previously appointed the tears-of-laughter emoji as 2015's Word of the Year — in case you needed more perspective on how 2016 has been going.

Other words up for consideration as the Word of the Year were coulrophobia, or an extreme or irrational fear of clowns, and hygge, which is the Danish concept of contentment or cosiness.

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