Editors say searches of "pragmatic" spiked during the debates in Washington over the U.S. debt ceiling and the congressional supercommittee.
The president of Merriam-Webster says pragmatic sums up the current national mood of encouraging practicality over indulgence.
By the way, "pragmatic" is an adjective means practical and logical.
Merriam-Webster has been picking its annual top choice since 2003. Previous winners include: austerity (2010), admonish (2009) and bailout (2008).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.