It’s been an interesting year and the most commonly looked up words reflect it.  – “The 2009 Merriam-Webster’s Words of the Year list is based on actual user lookups to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and Online Thesaurus. This year’s traffic was generated by topics and events ranging from Michael Jackson to H1N1 to the recession and, of course, politics. The word of the year that received the highest intensity of searches over the shortest period of time is “admonish.”

1. admonish (verb)

: to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner

The other words in the Top Ten List

emaciated

empathy

furlough

inaugurate

nugatory

pandemic

philanderer

repose

rogue

Read more and find the meanings for any on the list you don’t know at  http://www.merriam-webster.com/info/09words.htm