The Cambridge Dictionary reveals its word for the year 2021

The Cambridge Dictionary has revealed its 2021 word as «perseverance,» with editors attributing global interest in NASA’s mission to Mars.

Searches for the word soared after the Persevere rover touched down on the red planet on February 18, with 30,487 searches for «perseverance» between February 19 and February 25 this year.

It was searched on the Cambridge Dictionary website more than 243,000 times globally during 2021.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines perseverance as “a continuous effort to do or achieve something, even when it is difficult or time-consuming.”

Wendalen Nichols, director of publication at Cambridge Dictionary, said it «makes sense» that searches for the word shot up after NASA’s Mars rover landed.

She said: «Cambridge Dictionary is the best site in the world for learners of English, and perseverance is not a common word for English students in their vocabulary.»

«We often see a rise in searches for words related to current events when those words are unfamiliar.»

She said the editors felt it was an appropriate word, given the challenges of 2021.

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“Just as it takes perseverance to land a rover on Mars, it takes perseverance to confront the challenges and disruptions to our lives caused by COVID-19, climate disasters, political instability, and conflict,” Nichols said.

«We appreciated this connection, and we believe Cambridge Dictionary users do as well.»

In January of this year, searches on the Cambridge Dictionary website for «rebellion», «impeachment», «inauguration» and «acquittal» surged as the US presidential election captured the world’s attention.

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The editors said this provides further evidence that the words looked up in the Cambridge dictionary often reflect current world events.

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