Most Common Words Used in News

Most Common Words Used in News

This analysis includes over 23 million words gathered from news headlines and text taken from various news websites across the Internet. More than 10,000 news sources are analyzed across 2020 to see what words are the most common in news.

  • The verb “Said” is the most common word used in the news, accounting for 1.23% of all main words (verbs, nouns, adjectives, adverbs) used and 0.42% of all word types.
  • The second most frequently used word in the news is another verb, “had,” making up for 0.56% of all words.
  • It is followed by the adverb “more,” making up for 0.55% of all words used, and another adverb, “also,” accounting for 0.53% of all words in the news.
  • The words used in the news are more diverse in terms of frequency compared to Internet words, as the first 34 words account for just over 10% of all words in terms of frequency.
  • The most frequently used noun is “people,” with a frequency of 0.50%, followed by “time,” accounting for 0.38% of all words.
  • “New” is the most frequently used adjective in news, making up for 0.36% of all words and 3.51% of all adjectives.
RankWordTypeFrequencyFrequency among main word types
1saidVerb0.42%1.23%
2hadVerb0.19%0.56%
3moreAdverb0.19%0.55%
4alsoAdverb0.18%0.53%
5peopleNoun0.17%0.50%
6timeNoun0.13%0.38%
7newAdjective0.12%0.36%
8otherAdjective0.11%0.33%
9justAdverb0.11%0.33%
10firstAdjective0.11%0.31%
11nowAdverb0.10%0.30%
12yearNoun0.09%0.27%
13getVerb0.09%0.27%
14lastAdjective0.09%0.25%
15onlyAdverb0.09%0.25%
16yearsProper noun0.08%0.24%
17backAdverb0.08%0.23%
18manyAdjective0.08%0.22%
19mostAdverb0.08%0.22%
20makeVerb0.07%0.21%
  • If we include all word types, the determiner “the” is the most frequently used word in the news, accounting for over 4.32% of all words.
  • It is followed by the particle “to” and coordinating conjunction “and,” making up for 2.40% and 2.08% of all words, respectively.
  • Along with the adposition “of”, these words account for over 10% of all words used in news articles.
  • The first 16 words, in terms of frequency, account for over 20% of all words used in news.
  • Half of all words used in news come from a list of only 848 unique words.
RankWordTypeFrequency
1theDeterminer4.32%
2toParticle2.40%
3andCoordinating conjunction2.08%
4ofAdposition2.08%
5aDeterminer1.78%
6inAdposition1.56%
7thatSubordinating conjunction0.86%
8forAdposition0.82%
9isAuxiliary verb0.83%
10onAdposition0.72%
11withAdposition0.60%
12itPronoun0.42%
13wasAuxiliary verb0.53%
14asAdposition0.47%
15atAdposition0.44%
16beAuxiliary verb0.46%
17areAuxiliary verb0.44%
18haveAuxiliary verb0.42%
19saidVerb0.42%
20hePronoun0.30%
  • When it comes to the length of words used in the news, the average word is 6.9 words long. Adjusted for frequency, the average word is 4.5 long, meaning that shorter words are more frequently used.
  • Among unique words, 7-letter words are the most common, accounting for 16.35% of all unique words used in the news. They are followed by 6-letter words with 15.91% and 5-letter words with 14.16%.
  • In terms of frequency of use, 4-letter words are the most used among main word types (nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives), accounting for over 21.31% of all words.
  • It is interesting that long words are more common in the news compared to other sources. For example, 10-letter words account for 3.84% of all words used in the news, 11-letter words make up for 2.05%, and 12-letter words add another 0.97%.
LengthUnique wordsFrequencyFrequency among main word types
10.15%3.13%0.03%
20.99%17.54%0.65%
34.18%21.37%7.15%
410.61%17.82%21.31%
514.16%11.35%17.28%
615.91%8.73%15.97%
716.35%7.45%13.19%
813.33%5.22%10.35%
910.10%3.51%6.47%
106.82%2.01%3.84%
113.77%1.02%2.05%
122.07%0.48%0.97%
130.96%0.25%0.50%
140.46%0.10%0.21%
150.07%0.01%0.02%
160.05%0.01%0.02%
180.01%0.00%0.00%

WordsRated has created various tools that expand the scope of a person’s vocabulary and word recognition, while also helping with popular word games, such as Wordle or Word Chums.

  • 40.66% of all unique words used in news are nouns. However, nouns account for only 19.91% of all words in frequency of use. This shows that nouns are the most diverse word type used in the news.
  • Proper nouns add another 18.82% of unique words while accounting for 6.86% of words frequency-wise.
  • On the other hand, determiners have only 0.16% share in unique words but account for over 11.31% of all words used in the news.
  • Similarly, adpositions make up for over 14.81% of all words in the news while having only 4.13% share among unique words.
Word typeShare of unique wordsFrequency
Determiner0.16%11.31%
Particle0.05%3.83%
Coordinating conjunction0.08%4.00%
Adposition4.13%14.81%
Subordinating conjunction0.26%2.59%
Auxiliary verb0.67%7.08%
Pronoun0.94%7.28%
Verb18.65%10.63%
Adverb3.69%3.98%
Numeral0.22%0.79%
Noun40.66%19.91%
Adjective11.35%6.77%
Proper noun18.82%6.86%
Interjection0.12%0.09%
Other0.18%0.05%
Symbol0.01%0.00%