Trend Watch

Dissident

When:

Lookups started spiking on Merriam-Webster.com on October 8, 2010.

Why:

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."

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