updated 12/2/2004 8:25:31 AM ET 2004-12-02T13:25:31

"Blog" is now the most popular search word in the online version of the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Its frequent lookup paralleled its growth on the political scene this year as keepers of Web logs aggressively chronicled campaign developments they thought were undercovered or ignored by traditional media.

Politics dominated Merriam-Webster's top-10 list, with "incumbent," "electoral," "insurgent," "partisan," "sovereignty" and "defenestration" among the top searches.  Rounding out the list were "hurricane," "cicada" and "peloton," the main body of riders in a bicycle race.

Last year was the first that the company kept a list of the top words looked up online.  As with this year, the most popular words were frequently in the news.

Last year's winner was "democracy."

As for a blog, Merriam-Webster defines the noun as "a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer."

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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