The American dictionary Merriam-Webster has named "surreal" its 2016 Word of the Year. Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary defines the adjective as "very strange or unusual" or "having the quality of a dream." "Surreal" is often used to describe something shocking. People might use the word when they cannot believe -- or do not want to believe -- reality.
Merriam-Webster reports, the largest increase in searches for "surreal" came just after the United States presidential election last month. "Surreal" can have a negative or positive meaning. For example, the Grand Canyon or a trip to the Moon could be described as surreal.  Other popular words of 2016 include revenant, icon, and bigly, Merriam-Webster says.