Despite the fact that President Donald Trump is on trial in the Senate, as it’s been said many times by many people, impeachment is essentially a political process.

"Politics is really about words isn’t it? It’s about the use of language," said Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Springfield-based Merriam-Webster. Among other duties, Sokolowski tracks traffic to their online dictionary and noted when certain words receive outsized interest all at once.

"This is by far the number one story, No question about it," he explained. "It’s been overwhelming in our lookups, certainly, in this early stage of 2020."

Here are seven impeachment-related words that Sokolowski said have risen to the top of their charts — so to speak — in recent weeks.

per • fect | adjective : being entirely without fault or defect

It is a favorite adjective of President Trump's when it comes to describing his phone call with President of Ukraine at the center of the impeachment. It seems that his repeated use of it has struck a chord.

Sokolowski said look-ups for the word saw a surge beginning in early January.

"People were checking that word" he explained. "Whether they were checking their own knowledge of that word or checking his usage. Sometimes very basic words are words that people look up."

dil • a • to • ry | adjective: tending or intended to cause delay

Sokolowski said that words that are — or seem — technical or legal in nature often drive people to the dictionary. The impeachment story has been chock full of those types of words, including this one.

"It's kind of a lawyerly word," said Sokolowski. "It just means delayed or late."

Look-ups for the word spiked more than 7,000 percent on January 21, when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer used it to explain an amendment he put forth early in the trial, saying, "We believe these witnesses and documents would provide the evidence they're looking for without being dilatory or letting the trial drag on for too long."

en • gross | transitive verb: : to prepare the usually final handwritten or printed text of (an official document)

"Clearly not a word that most people use, and so that word was looked up," said Sokolowski of the word.

It had its moment in the sun Jan. 15, the day the Democrats in the House of Representatives held their official engrossment ceremony where they signed the physical articles of impeachment and brought them to the Senate.

"The engrossing of a document means to prepare the text of a bill or treaty or other official document for the official reading in a legislature," said Sokolowski. "It's an inside the beltway term. It's very much a technical term of the parliamentary procedure of Congress."

te • mer • i • ty | noun: : unreasonable or foolhardy contempt of danger or opposition

This SAT-vocabulary-style word was used by White House counsel Pat Cipollone during his opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial.

"And Mr. Schiff said, 'Have I got a deal for you. Abandon all your constitutional rights, forget about your lawyers, and come in and do exactly what I say,'" said Cipollone. "No thank you. No thank you. And then, he says, he has the temerity to come into the Senate and say 'We have no use for courts.'"

Sokolowski noted a 2,600 percent rise in lookups for the word on January 21.

sleaze • bag | noun: a sleazy person

Colorful slang courtesy of President Trump also captured people’s attention. While in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, President Trump took a swipe at Democratic impeachment managers, specifically Congressman Jerrold Nadler.

"Jerrold Nadler, I've known him a long time," said Trump. "He's a sleazebag, Everybody knows that."

The word sleazebag is fairly new to the English language. A slang term, Merriam-Webster cites 1981 as the year of its first known usage.

ad • mon • ish | transative verb: : to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner

There is something to be said for an economy of words. Chief Justice John Roberts has not said much as he presides over hours of testimony. Yet he vaulted two separate words to the top of the lookup list.

"I think it is appropriate at this point for me to admonish both the House managers and the President's counsel, in equal terms ,to remember that they are addressing the world's greatest deliberative body," said Roberts at nearly 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

Nearly a full week later, admonish remains in the top one percent of all words looked up on Merriam-Webster's online dictionary.

pet • ti • fog • ger | noun: : a lawyer whose methods are petty, underhanded, or disreputable

It was Roberts historic example of the type of language that might call for admonishment that really caused a stir.

In his wee-hours statement, Roberts went on to say, “In the 1905 Swain Trial, a senator objected when one of the managers used the word ‘pettifogging’ and the presiding officer said the word ought not to have been used. I don’t think we need to aspire to that high of a standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are.”

"The most interesting of all these words to me," said Sokolowski. "I had almost never heard [it] before."

Sokolowski noted that the "petti" in pettifogger means exactly what you might suspect.

"[It] comes from the French word, petit, meaning small or small minded like the English word petty," he said. "But, the 'fogger' part remains a mystery.

"Etymologists can't know everything," he noted.

Sokolwski said that by the 17th century, it was a common insult for, "lower status lawyers who took on small cases. ... But also get small remunerations for those cases."

In the end, Sokolowski said what is important is not necessarily which words people are looking up online, but that so many people are looking up impeachment-related words at all.

"The interest that we see in the language of impeachment gives me a good feeling about the fact that people are paying attention," he said. "The vocabulary that people use really does matter. People look those words up and I think that’s a really good sign for democracy to be honest."