You might have thought about it, heard it. A lot. You might have even felt it: Dictionary.com's word of the year is "xenophobia."
While it's difficult to get at exactly why people look words up in dictionaries, online or on paper, it's clear that in contentious 2016, fear of "otherness" bruised the collective consciousness around the globe.
The Brexit vote, police violence against people of color, Syria's refugee crisis, transsexual rights and the U.S. presidential race were among prominent developments that drove debate — and spikes in lookups of the word, said Jane Solomon, one of the dictionary site's lexicographers.
The 21-year-old site defined xenophobia as "fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers." And it plans to expand its entry to include fear or dislike of "customs, dress and cultures of people with backgrounds different from our own," Solomon said in a recent interview.