Trending: β€˜sedition’

Lookups spiked 3,800% on September 14, 2020

Why are people looking up sedition?

Sedition was among our top lookups on September 14, 2020, after Michael Caputo, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, without evidence accused career scientists at the CDC organizing a "resistance unit" for "sedition" against President Trump, according to The New York Times:

The top communications official at the powerful cabinet department in charge of combating the coronavirus accused career government scientists on Sunday of β€œsedition” in their handling of the pandemic and warned that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election.

What does sedition mean?

Sedition is defined as "incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority" or "conduct tending to treason but without an overt act."

Where does sedition come from?

Sedition came to English from French, and ultimately from the Latin word meaning "civil discord," "faction," or, literally, "separation."

What is notable about this use of sedition?

There have been U.S. laws known as "sedition acts" in the past, including the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and the Sedition Act of 1918, both of which made it criminal to use speech to incite resistance against the government or its decisions.

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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