Johannesburg - State Capture has come out tops as the 2017 South African word of the year, Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) announced on Monday.
It beat White Monopoly Capital and Blesser, which both made the shortlist.
PanSALB spokesperson Sibusiso Nkosi said State Capture was used 20 231 times, in over 11 000 South African newspaper editions.
It received the majority of coverage in daily newspapers - accounting for 68% of the total coverage. Sunday newspapers accounted for 19% of mentions.
The term State Capture gained fame after it was used in the title of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's 355-page report.
The report essentially found there was political corruption through the capture of prominent individuals and state institutions in order to control decision making, to benefit private interests.
Madonsela highlighted the control the Gupta family has over the country.
Nkosi said candidates for word of the year were reviewed to determine what best captured the philosophy, mood or obsession of that particular year.
All findings are based on research conducted by Focal Points and Newsclip on factual statistics found within the country's media.
"We are happy with the choice as it echoes a year dominated by highly-charged political and social discourse," Chief Executive Officer of PanSALB, Dr Mpho Monareng said.
"I wouldn't be surprised if State Capture becomes one of the defining words of our time", Monareng said.