Pandemic. I guess there's no better word to sum up the unbelievable year that was, the year that IS....2020. Pandemic is indeed the Word of the Year for both Merriam-Webster and Dictionary.com. It's because it was the top search on both sites and, of course, has reshaped the language we use daily.
Other top searches on both sites were related to the pandemic, including "asymptomatic," "quarantine" and, of course, "coronavirus." Now, the public understands terms like "social distancing," "flatten the curve" and "herd immunity", and they aren't just used by health professionals any longer.