Last year we saw several words getting added to our vocabulary. However, as per the five leading dictionaries, the five words that stood out the most were; vax, vaccine, perseverance, NFT, and allyship.
Here are the words that were chosen by leading dictionaries, like Oxford, Cambridge Dictionaries, Merriam Webster, Collins dictionary, and Dictionary.com.
'Vax' was chosen as the word of the year by the Oxford Languages due to the sheer amount of times that it was used.
According to a report published by Oxford Languages, the usage of this word increased by 72 times by September 2021 in comparison to the usage at the same time last year.
Definition: The Oxford Languages report defined Vax as, "a colloquialism meaning either vaccine or vaccination as a noun and vaccinate as a verb."
The word 'vaccine' was chosen as the word of the year by Merriam Webster, while the dictionary also stated that interest in the word has been high ever since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Merriam Webster, the word vaccine saw a rise of 601% year-over-year from 2020.
Merriam Webster has also revised the definition of the word which previously read,"a preparation of killed microorganisms, living attenuated organisms, or living fully virulent organisms that is administered to produce or artificially increase immunity to a particular disease."
Definition: Merriam Webster describes vaccine as a preparation that is administered to stimulate the body's immune response against a specific infectious agent or disease, such as an antigenic preparation of a typically inactivated or attenuated pathogenic agent or one of its components or products.
The word 'NFT', an abbreviation for 'non-fungible token', was chosen by the Collins dictionary as the word of the year for 2021.
'NFT' is also amongst the three tech-based words chosen by the dictionary as words of the year for 2021.
Definition: The Collins dictionary describes NFT as, "the unique digital identifier that records ownership of a digital asset."
The Cambridge dictionary has chosen the word 'perseverance' as the word of the year 2021 due to a spike recorded in the usage of the word since NASA's Perseverance Rover landed on Mars.
According to the dictionary, the word wasn't looked up online as much before the year 2021 but it was looked up more than 243,000 times globally this year.
Definition: The Cambridge dictionary defines the word as the continued effort to do or achieve something, even when this is difficult or takes a long time.
The word 'allyship' was chosen as the word of the year for 2021 by Dictionary.com amongst various shortlisted words like 'critical race theory', 'burnout', and 'vaccine'.
The decision to choose 'allyship' also marks the first time that a word new to the dictionary was chosen as the Word of the Year.
Definition: Dictionary.com defines the word as 'the status or role of a person who advocates and actively works for the inclusion of a marginalized or politicized group in all areas of society, not as a member of that group but in solidarity with its struggle and point of view and under its leadership.'