Merriam-Webster has announced the top ten words of 2005 based on user online look-ups. Last year the top word was "blog", a year before it was "democracy". This year it’s "integrity".

I wonder if it’s a good or a bad sign. It must be good that so many are interested in integrity, but sort of troubling that people need to look it up.

One of the more esoteric words on the list is "insipid", and here’s the story behind it making to the top: "Immediately after Simon Cowell, the acid-tongued host of the popular television show "American Idol," called one aspiring singer "insipid," Merriam-Webster noticed a dramatic spike in the number of lookups for the word, which the dictionary defines as ‘lacking in qualities that interest, stimulate or challenge: dull, flat.’"

Based on your online lookups, the #1 Word of the Year for 2005 was:

1. integrity

Pronunciation: in-‘te-gr&-tE
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English integrite, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French integrité, from Latin integritat-, integritas, from integr-, integer entire

: firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : INCORRUPTIBILITY
  2 : an unimpaired condition : SOUNDNESS
  3 : the quality or state of being complete or undivided : COMPLETENESS
synonym see HONESTY

Click on each of the other words in the Top Ten List for their definitions in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: