“Surreal” is Merriam-Webster’s 2016 word of the year.

A few weeks ago, lexicographer and Merriam-Webster editor-at-large Peter Sokolowskitold Morning Shift that “fascism” was the favorite to top its annual list of words that best reflect the year.

But Merriam-Webster announced Monday that “surreal” -- which it defines as “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream; also unbelievable, fantastic” -- took the year’s top spot because of several search spikes at different times in the year -- after the Brussels terror attack, the coup attempt in Turkey, the attacks in Nice, France and the presidential election in the United States.

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