furlough (“a temporary leave of absence, as from military duty”): from the unpaid furloughs that many employers gave to workers to weather the recession

Merriam-Webster picks its words of the year based on how often people search for them. Rather wonderfully, the words that draw curious people to the dictionary almost all match up with major news stories.

This strikes me as an obvious variant of the “Chinese curse”: “May your predicament bring lexicographers business.”