Lookups spiked 7,500% on February 5, 2020
Acquit spiked in lookups on February 5th, 2020, following reports that this verb was apt in describing what was happening to Donald Trump in the United States Senate.
The Senate on Wednesday voted to acquit President Trump on impeachment charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress over his dealings with Ukraine, marking the beginning of the end of the months-long saga.
— Jordain Carney, The Hill, 5 Feb. 2020
Acquit has a variety of meanings; the one most relevant to Trump’s impeachment is “to discharge completely (as from an accusation or obligation).” The word may additionally mean “to conduct (oneself) usually satisfactorily especially under stress,” and has archaic uses such as “to pay off (something, such as a claim or debt).”
Acquit comes from the Anglo-French aquiter, which itself is in part from quite, meaning “free, discharged.” The word has been in English use since the 13th century.
Why doe you aske such an uncharitable question? It is farced with too much jealousie; can you think them men void of such common honesty, as after the receipt of so many unparallelld Acts of Grace, from such a mercifull and sweet natur'd King, who is as ready to give, as His Subjects can be to aske, and readier to forgive, then Rebels will be to repent, to be so gracelesse? If you acquit not your selfe fairely, I shall think the worse of you and your Religion so long as I live.
— Anon. A discourse discovering some mysteries of our new state, 1645
Trend Watch is a data-driven report on words people are looking up at much higher search rates than normal. While most trends can be traced back to the news or popular culture, our focus is on the lookup data rather than the events themselves.
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