NEW YORK, Nov 28 — “Authentic” is the word of the year, Merriam-Webster announced yesterday, saying users are seeking out its meaning as they try to navigate what is real and what is fake.

Merriam-Webster said searches for “authentic” — which it defines in part as “not false or imitation” — saw a substantial increase in 2023.

“The rise of AI helped drive interest in the word,” Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s Editor at Large, said in a statement. “The line between ‘real’ and ‘fake’ has become increasingly blurred.”

While Merriam-Webster’s word of 2023 is “authentic,” the Cambridge dictionary chose “hallucinate” — in reference to when AI hallucinates and produces false information. And the Collins dictionary “AI” — the abbreviation for artificial intelligence.

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Merriam-Webster said that other words that stood out in searches for 2023 included “rizz” — a word driven by internet slang meaning “romantic appeal or charm” as a noun and “to charm or seduce” as a verb; “deepfake” meaning an image or recording that has been altered to misrepresent what someone has said or done; and “coronation” which saw searches rise with the crowning of Britain’s King Charles III in May. — Reuters

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