The word “complicit” began trending (again) after Ivanka told CBS News’ Gayle King: “I don’t know that the critics who may say that of me, if they found themselves in this very unique and unprecedented situation that I am now in, would do any differently than I’m doing. So I hope to make a positive impact. I don’t know what it means to be complicit, but, you know, I hope time will prove that I have done a good job and much more importantly, that my father’s administration is the success that I know it will be.”
Merriam-Webster sent out the following tweet not long after a teaser for the interview with Trump and King was released Tuesday (the full segment aired on Wednesday morning):
Merriam-Webster defines “complicit” as “helping to commit a crime or do wrong in some way.”
This definition makes it less likely that Ivanka’s interpretation of the word, issued during her first interview since taking on an official role in the White House, is in any way accurate: “If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit.”
Very clearly, that is not what complicit means.
This spike in searches for “complicit” isn’t even the first time the word has received a surge in connection to Ivanka. In mid-March, “Saturday Night Live” aired a faux-advertisement sketch for a perfume called “Complicit,” with Scarlett Johansson impersonating Ivanka.
Merriam-Webster did a more thorough analysis of the word then, updating it after the word saw a boost following the Gayle King interview.
Many individuals have since come out on social media to offer their opinion on Ivanka’s thoughts on being complicit:
We wonder what Ivanka’s petty, fur-wearing neighbor would have to say about this…