Lookups started spiking on Merriam-Webster.com on October 8, 2010.
The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Liu Xiaobo, a writer often described as "perhaps China's best-known dissident," whose activism began in Tiananmen Square in 1989.
A dissident is someone who strongly and publicly disagrees with and criticizes the government.
Mr. Liu is currently serving an 11-year sentence for subversion, in a prison 300 miles from Beijing.
Dissident comes from the Latin word that means "to sit apart" or "to disagree."
Photo: laihiuyeung ryanne / flickr