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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Glossary​

A shared language lets us understand each other better and fosters a spirit of cooperation. To that end, here is a glossary of terms that are often used in the coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic, to better help you understand the virus, and how it spreads. 

We continue to add words and phrases as they come up to keep you up-to-date.

SOURCE: WHO, CDC, NIH, JHSPH, UPenn, British Society for Immunology 

Vax is our 2021 Word of the Year. When our lexicographers began digging into our English language corpus data it quickly became apparent that vax was a particularly striking term. A relatively rare word in our corpus until this year, by September it was over 72 times more frequent than at the same time last year.

It has generated numerous derivatives that we are now seeing in a wide range of informal contexts, from vax sites and vax cards to getting vaxxed and being fully vaxxed, no word better captures the atmosphere of the past year than vax.