Austerity

(noun): Enforced or extreme economy. That fine-if-un-American word has won the distinction of being Merriam-Webster's word of the year for 2010.

The dictionary says its annual ranking of top 10 words is based on the number of times citizens looked up words on Merriam-Webster.com.

"Austerity clearly resonates with many people," says Merriam-Webster editor at large Peter Sokolowski.

"We often hear it used in the context of government measures, but we also apply it to our own personal finances and what is sometimes called the new normal."

Second place belongs to a most American term, pragmatic. Moratorium, socialism, and bigot round out the top five. For a full list, visit www.merriam-webster.com.

Lust, love, kids, divorce . . .

Reese Witherspoon

has become engaged to agent

Jim Toth

. "They are extremely happy," Reese's rep tells UsMagazine.com. The ludicrously articulate Reese divorced hyper-articulate actor

Ryan Phillippe

in '08. She began dating Toth shortly after she dumped

Jake Gyllenhaal

in January.

Actor Chris Hemsworth, 27, set to overwhelm us with thespianic prowess in the coming Thor, married 34-year-old Spanish actress Elsa Pataky this weekend. Elsa costarred with Samuel L. Jackson in the Shakespearean tragedy Snakes on a Plane.

Britain's Daily Mail says Sam Cooper, 32, surprised his bubblegum popster darling Lily Allen, 25, with an engagement ring on Christmas Day. Reports indicate she said yes.

Sir Elton John, 62, and David Furnish, 48, on Christmas Day became parents to a baby boy. Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John was born via a surrogate. "We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy," the couple say.

Rihanna has left her post-Chris Brown-debacle bf, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. "She basically was just over it," Anonymous Source tells UsMagazine.com. The singer has yet to confirm or deny.

Wracked by anguish over Kate Gosselin's woeful love life? Anonymous Pal tells PopEater.com that the reality queen has vowed to rectify the matter. Kate, the pal says, was so focused on her eight kids, she "forgot to look after herself. Now, in the new year, Kate is determined to start dating again and . . . find a new man." Keep hope alive! In a shocking departure, Kate wants dates to be "strictly private with no cameras around."

Ozzy's beloved daughter, Kelly Osbourne, has launched an aggressive Twitter campaign against her former fiance, Luke Worrall, calling him "the biggest piece of [refuse]." Kelly says Luke is "trying to get back w/ me" while bedding "100's of girls."

Rhyming about love with Rimes

LeAnn Rimes

, 28, has finally conceded that she and

Eddie Cibrian

, 37, who fell in lust while married to other people, are engaged.

Anonymous

Source

tells People that Rimes' ring is a platinum number with "a five-carat oval diamond set in rose gold fleur-de-lis connected to the band." Diamond-cutter

David Mamane

says it's worth $85,000. But on Tuesday, Rimes tweeted that reports she is pregnant are untrue. She used dirty words. She seemed mad.

The cost of love

TMZ says 55-year-old

Frasier

dude

Kelsey Grammer

's decision to replace his 41-year-old third wife,

Camille Donatacci Grammer

, with 29-year-old prospective fourth wife

Kayte Walsh

could cost him $50 mil. Kelsey and Camille, who were married for 13 years, have no pre-nup, which means they'll have to split their $100 mil fortune 50-50.

Will the misery never end?

More woes for the $65-mil

Julie-Taymor

-

Bono

-

The-Edge

Spider-Man

follies: The lovely

Natalie Mendoza

, who kicked serious derriere in

Neil Marshall

's

The Descent

, has quit the musical, says the New York Times. Last month, Mendoza was lucky enough to suffer a concussion during the musical's first preview. Her rep has declined comment, while a show rep won't confirm the report.

Movies, money, money, mo . . .

Critical darling - and kid-tested - sequel

Toy Story 3

is the highest-grossing film of 2010, with a haul of $1.1 billion, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Alice in Wonderland

is in second place with $1 billion, while

Inception

is at No. 3 with $825.4 mil.

Still hungry like the wolf

"We're

Duran Duran

! Remember us?" So asks former pretty boy and chanteur

Simon Le Bon

, 52. Le Bon tells USA Today that he and his mates,

Nick Rhodes

and

John

and

Roger Taylor

, are back and better than ever.

"We're the ultimate party band, we got you dancing. And now we've got something to make your Christmas go off with a bang," he says, referring to the band's newly released album, All You Need Is Now.

Chamberlain: Don't do it

Thorn Birds

star

Richard Chamberlain

, who came out as a gay man in his '03 memoir, tells the Advocate it doesn't pay for leading men to declare they are gay. "Despite all the wonderful advances that have been made," he says, "it's still dangerous for an actor to talk about that in our extremely misguided culture."

This article includes information from Inquirer wire services and websites. Contact "Sideshow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.