Cambridge Dictionary's Word of the Year 2021 probably won't shock you

Hint: It's not 'unprecedented'

Photo of Angela Mulka
Photo provided/Cambridge Dictionary.
Photo provided/Cambridge Dictionary

2021 is almost at an end, and with it comes Cambridge Dictionary's pick for its annual Word of the Year.

On Wednesday, Cambridge Dictionary announced its Word of the Year for 2021, and it probably won't shock you. 

"We have been looking back on the past year and what it has meant for you," Cambridge Dictionary stated on its website. "We wanted to choose a word that represented your experiences as learners of English, and we are happy to announce that our Word of the Year 2021 is… perseverance!"

This year's word is perseverance and it's defined by Cambridge as a continued effort to do or achieve something, even when this is difficult or takes a long time.

We often talk about showing perseverance in the face of adversity, and, in 2021, people all over the world have had to show perseverance in the face of challenges and disruption to our lives from COVID-19 and other problems, per Cambridge Dictionary.

Another reason for the choice is that perseverance was a highly searched word in 2021, seeing more than 243,000 lookups on the Cambridge Dictionary alone.

The largest spike in searches was seen in February when NASA's Perseverance rover made its final descent to Mars, landing on February 18, according to a tweet by Cambridge Dictionary.

This image made available by NASA shows an illustration of NASA's Perseverance rover landing safely on Mars. NASA's Perseverance rover touched down safely on Mars on Feb. 18 2021, kicking off the agency's ninth mission on the Red Planet.

This image made available by NASA shows an illustration of NASA's Perseverance rover landing safely on Mars. NASA's Perseverance rover touched down safely on Mars on Feb. 18 2021, kicking off the agency's ninth mission on the Red Planet.

Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Additionally, Cambridge Dictionary's choice of perseverance for 2021 continues the pandemic-related Word of the Year trend that started in 2020 with the word quarantine.