This Is Collins Dictionary's Word of the Year

'AI,' or, you know, 'artificial intelligence,' 'has been much talked about in 2023,' per UK publisher
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 1, 2023 11:25 AM CDT
This Is Collins Dictionary's Word of the Year
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/JYis)

The "best of 2023" lists are starting to be compiled, and Collins Dictionary lexicographers have already announced their pick for word of the year. It's "AI," the initialism for "artificial intelligence," reports CNN, which notes the term means "the modeling of human mental functions by computer programs." "Considered to be the next great technological revolution, AI has seen rapid development and has been much talked about in 2023," reads a statement from the British publisher on its big pick.

"AI" was included among a list of competitors that reflect "our ever-evolving language and the concerns of those who use it," Collins says in its statement, per the Guardian. Last year's word of the year was "permacrisis" ("an extended period of instability and insecurity, esp. one resulting from a series of catastrophic events"), while 2021's was "NFT," short for "non-fungible token." In 2020, which marked the start of the COVID pandemic, "lockdown" took top honors.

If anyone is wondering what ChatGPT thinks about Collins' selection, the BBC took the opportunity to get a quote from OpenAI's artificial intelligence-powered language model: "AI's selection as the word of the year by Collins Dictionary reflects the profound impact of artificial intelligence on our rapidly evolving world, where innovation and transformation are driven by the power of algorithms and data."

story continues below

Here are some of the other "word of the year" contenders that lost out to "AI," in alpha order:

  • Bazball: a "highly aggressive" style of cricket, named for New Zealand cricket player Brendon "Baz" McCullum
  • Canon event: "an event that is essential to the formation of an individual's character or identity"
  • Debanking: "the act of depriving a person of banking facilities"
  • Deinfluencing: "the use of social media to warn followers to avoid certain commercial products, lifestyle choices, etc."
  • Greedflation: "the use of inflation as an excuse to raise prices to artificially high levels in order to increase corporate profits"
  • Nepo baby: "a person, esp. in the entertainment industry, whose career is believed to have been advanced by having a famous parent"
  • Semaglutide: "a medication used to suppress the appetite and control high blood sugar" (brand name: Ozempic)
  • Ultra-processed: "prepared using complex industrial methods from multiple ingredients, often including ingredients with little or no nutritional value"
  • ULEZ: an abbreviation for "ultra-low emission zone"—an "area, especially one in a big city, where most vehicles have to pay to enter and vehicles that produce a lot of pollution have to pay more"
(More dictionary stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.