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Science Named Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster Dictionary—Find Out Why!

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Selfie is not the only Word of the Year this year. And if you have a problem with that, you can go take a picture of yourself making a sad face and caption it #selfies4eva #selfiesarethebest #follow4follow #me. But it won't make a difference. 

While the British publishers of the Oxford Dictionary picked selfie as their Word of the Year, the American publishers at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary picked... 


And get this: While selfie is apparently a "more editorial" choice ("a qualitative selection meant to embody a shift in culture," according to Time), Merriam-Webster's pick "relies more on the numbers."

PHOTOS: Check out all the biggest stories of 2013 right here!

Which means lots and lots of people looked up the definition of "science" this year. Merriam-Webster picked the world that "experienced the biggest spike in lookups the year" and, with 176 percent more lookups than last year, that word is science.

Who is looking up the definition of science this much?!?

Last year's winner was a tie between socialism and capitalism. That makes sense enough to us. The year before was pragmatic. Hey, people might not know the definition of pragmatic. We're OK with that.

Some runners up for Word of the Year include cognitive, rapport, niche, visceral and communication. These are words you may not know. These are words that can be explained with a single definition. Except communication, you should probably already know that one.

PHOTOS: Check out all of our picks for the Best Songs of 2013!

But science? Who is looking up the definition of science?!

"The more we thought about it, the righter it seemed in that it does lurk behind a lot of big stories that we as a society are grappling with," M-W president and publisher John Morse explained.

"Whether it's climate change or environmental regulation or what's in our textbooks."

Which, sure. But that seems more like something you would Google. This is the definition of science. Not the arguments of science versus faith. Not the concepts behind different types of science. Just what the word science means.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines science as:

sci·ence noun \ˈsī-ən(t)s\

: knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation

: a particular area of scientific study (such as biology, physics, or chemistry) : a particular branch of science

: a subject that is formally studied in a college, university, etc.

Is this new information to anyone? At best, we can hope that second graders had a loooot of homework this year. At worst...science is the Word of the Year. Oh well, if you really want your mind blown, look at the comments people have left on M-W's science definition. 

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PHOTOS: Check out the best celeb selfies (the other word of the year)!



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