Trend Watch

'Feminism' Trending on International Women's Day

Searches are up over 600%

Feminism was among our most searched for words on March 8th, 2018, as a global interest in International Women’s Day prompted the word to surge in lookups.

International Women's Day protests amplify feminism in Asia
— (headline) CBS News (, 8 Mar. 2018

Our 2017 Word of the Year, feminism is currently defined as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes” or “organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests.” The word has not always carried a meaning related to the rights of women; our earliest citation comes from Noah Webster’s 1841 dictionary, in which he glossed the word as “the qualities of females.” This sense is not particularly common in modern use.

The meaning of feminism which is common today began to gain currency at the end of the 19th century.

This she has also done on every similar occasion subsequently, so there is every appearance that the Court will now be kept well in touch with the aspirations of the pioneers of feminism in Russia....
Women’s Penny Paper (London, Eng.), 5 Sept. 1895

This particular district, it is worthy of note, has already distinguished itself as the home of emancipated feminism, for we learn from the same source that “Miss M. Howells. B.A., is the Vice-Chairman of the Parish Council, and imparts instruction to ministerial students at Wateyn Wyn’s Academy.”
— _Portsmouth Evening News (Portsmouth, Eng.), 8 Feb. 1895

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