“Sedition,” “coup d’état” top Merriam-Webster searches after U.S. Capitol riot
On Wednesday, pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, interrupting Congress confirming the election of President-elect Joe Biden. The events of the day have been called many things. Some of the terms used to describe the violent occupation were the top searched words on Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary.
Merriam-Webster said the top searches on its website on Wednesday, in order, were: sedition, coup d’état, coup, fascism, capitol, breach, insurrection, racism, treason, anarchy, putsch, terrorism and riot.
President-elect Biden called it an insurrection, which is defined as “an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government.” Searches for insurrection spiked 34,450% on Wednesday, Merriam-Webster reported.
Sedition, meaning “the incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority,” was also trending 1,500% more than usual.
Meanwhile, the word coup d’état, originally a French word literally meaning “blow of state,” originated during the Napoleonic Era’s French Revolution. Merriam-Webster defines a coup d’état as “a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics, especially the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.”
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