Merriam-Webster Announces Word of the Year for 2023

To thine own self be true: that’s the idea behind Merriam Webster’s 2023 Word of the Year: ‘Authentic’.

“A high-volume lookup most years, authentic saw a substantial increase in 2023, driven by stories and conversations about AI, celebrity culture, identity, and social media.” Merriam-Webster wrote, “Authentic has a number of meanings including “not false or imitation,” a synonym of real and actual; and also “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.” Although clearly a desirable quality, authentic is hard to define and subject to debate—two reasons it sends many people to the dictionary.”

Authentic is often connected to identity, whether national or personal: words frequently modified by authentic include cuisine and dish, but also self and voice. Celebrities like singers Lainey Wilson, Sam Smith, and especially Taylor Swift all made headlines in 2023 with statements about seeking their “authentic voice” and “authentic self”,” the announcement continues.

Other words of the year include ‘rizz’, ‘deepfake’, ‘coronation’, ‘implode’, and ‘indict’.



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