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The popular dictionary site chooses "xenophobia" as its word of the year, saying fear of the other defines our times.


Searches for xenophobia on spiked June 24, the day after the Brexit vote.

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Reflecting the times, named xenophobia its word of the year.

In a Monday statement, said searches for the word began rising last year but took off in the wake of the successful Brexit vote that will have the UK leave the European Union. The site said searches for xenophobia spiked 938 percent on June 24, the day after the vote, with hundreds of users looking it up each hour.

Xenophobia got a workout from the site's US users after a June 29 speech by President Barack Obama, who said Donald Trump's campaign rhetoric wasn't populism, but instead "nativism or xenophobia." Trump won the November 8 presidential election. defines xenophobia as "fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures, or strangers." The term can also refer to fear or dislike of customs, dress and cultures of people from different backgrounds.

Earlier this month, the Oxford Dictionaries gave the nod to post-truth, an adjective used for situations "in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief."