According to Merriam Webster, the 2021 'Word of the Year' is VACCINE. This rise in searches for this word was up more than 600 percent compared to 2020! Peter Sokolowski, editor at Merriam Webster says:
“This was a word that was extremely high in our data every single day in 2021, it really represents two different stories. One is the science story, which is this remarkable speed with which the vaccines were developed. But there’s also the debates regarding policy, politics and political affiliation. It’s one word that carries these two huge stories,” he said.