Top Words of 2023: Which year-defining words made the list?

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Language, an ever-evolving entity, is a reflection of society's dynamics, constantly influenced by cultural shifts, technological advancements, and societal movements. Each year, certain words and phrases emerge, encapsulating the essence of prevailing trends and societal changes. As we bid farewell to 2023, it's time to unveil the lexicon that defined it.

Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Year

Rizz: An internet-driven slang term that gained rapid popularity, leading to increased searches upon its inclusion in the dictionary in September. As a noun, "rizz" refers to "romantic appeal or charm," often used in phrases like "a bro who has rizz." As a verb (commonly paired with "up," as in "rizz up someone"), it signifies "to charm." While many associate it with charisma, YouTuber Kai Cenat, often credited with originating the word, denies its connection to charisma. Despite widespread usage, no other definite origin for this term has been identified.

Shortlisted words

  • Prompt: In connection with AI, a prompt is a directive or command provided to an artificial intelligence system, typically in the form of input or instructions, prompting the AI to perform a specific task, generate output, or engage in problem-solving based on predefined parameters and algorithms.

  • De-influencing: The process of reducing or counteracting the influence of someone or something, often in the context of social media or marketing, aiming to lessen their impact or effect.

  • Parasocial: Refers to one-sided relationships where individuals form emotional connections with public figures, celebrities, or media personas, despite the lack of direct interaction or personal connection.

  • Heat dome: An atmospheric phenomenon characterized by a prolonged period of excessively hot weather conditions, often leading to heatwaves, high temperatures, and potential health risks.

  • Swiftie: A devoted fan or supporter of the singer Taylor Swift, often used as a term to describe a member of her fanbase.

  • Situationship: A term combining "situation" and "relationship," a romantic or intimate connection that lacks clear definition or commitment, often characterized by ambiguity or uncertainty.

Collins Dictionary’s word of the year

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is Collins Dictionary’s word of 2023! The simulation of human intelligence processes by computer systems, including learning, reasoning, problem-solving, and decision-making. As well as “AI”, there were other contender words too, which Collins Dictionary considered.

Shortlisted words

  • Nepobaby: Nepobaby refers to an individual, notably in the entertainment industry, whose career has been boosted due to having a famous parent. This term signifies the successful offspring of celebrities whose prominence and connections in show business have propelled them into their celebrity status or success in related careers. The word "nepo" is derived from nepotism, defined as the unfair use of influence to secure advantages for family or friends.

  • Ultraprocessed (of food): Prepared using complex industrial methods from multiple ingredients, often including ingredients with little or no nutritional value.

  • Canon event: An event that is essential to the formation of an individual’s character or identity.

  • Debanking: The act of excluding individuals, businesses, or entities from traditional banking services or systems, often due to regulatory, risk management, or policy reasons.

  • Greedflation: A term used to describe a situation where rising prices or inflation is primarily driven by excessive greed or profiteering behavior rather than fundamental economic factors.

  • Semaglutide: A medication used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity, acting as a glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist.

  • ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone): A designated area in urban areas that imposes restrictions or charges on vehicles based on their emissions to reduce air pollution.

Merriam-Webster's word of the year


Merriam-Webster chose this word as a reflection of its widespread contemplation and discussion. The term, denoting genuineness and staying true to oneself, surged in searches due to debates around AI, celebrity culture, and identity on social media.

"Authentic" holds meanings of being real and true to one's character, often tied to personal and national identity. Celebrities like Taylor Swift sought their "authentic voice," linking it to cultural influence.

With the rise of AI, distinguishing between what's real and fake has become more difficult. For instance, 2023 saw the rise of so-called “deep-fake” videos.

Shortlisted words

As well as “authentic, Merriam-Webster considered other words that rose in use in 2023.

  • DeepFake: Media, typically videos, that use artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to manipulate or fabricate content, often creating misleading or falsified representations.

  • Coronation: The act or ceremony of crowning a monarch or the accession of a sovereign to the throne. This word holds importance in 2023 as it refers to the coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as king and queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, on Saturday, 6 May 2023 at Westminster Abbey. Charles took the throne on 8 September 2022 after the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

  • Dystopian: Relating to or characteristic of a society or community that is undesirable, characterized by suffering, oppression, or a bleak future, often depicted in dystopian fiction.

Smartcat’s words of the year

With that, we also wanted to share what our top words of the year are. These align with what we aspire to achieve as a company and what we hope to deliver to companies that use the Smartcat Language AI platform.


Quality signifies the level of excellence in something. It reflects how well an item meets standards or expectations, impacting its value and effectiveness. When it comes to translation and language, it’s vital to ensure top quality by adhering to language rules and localizing content to respect cultures. Quality assurance is now easier with AI human workflows and automation.

Team collaboration

Team collaboration refers to multiple groups within an organization working together in a coordinated effort toward shared goals. It involves pooling skills, resources, and expertise to achieve common objectives, emphasizing communication, cooperation, and synergy among different teams for increased productivity and achievement of unified outcomes.  

Ease of use

Ease of use describes how easily and intuitively a product, service, or system can be used without causing confusion or requiring extensive training. It reflects simplicity and convenience in interaction or operation.

What word do you think marked 2023?

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