Merriam-Webster update: 13 tech buzzwords added to dictionary

Explore the latest tech and business words added to Merriam-Webster. Stay ahead with our guide on integrating these terms into your daily communication.

Merriam-Webster update: 13 tech buzzwords added to dictionary

Thursday November 30, 2023,

3 min Read

In the fast-paced world of technology and business, staying up-to-date with the latest terminology is essential. Merriam-Webster's recent additions reflect the ever-evolving landscape, capturing the zeitgeist of the tech and business realms.

Let's dive into some of the newly minted words and phrases that have officially made their way into the dictionary and explore the meanings that accompany them.

1. Generative A.I.

This term's inclusion in the dictionary hardly raises eyebrows, given the global fascination with artificial intelligence. Generative AI refers to systems that create content autonomously, often mimicking human-like language generation.

2. Large language model

As the hype around advanced language models peaks, Merriam-Webster defines this term as a language model utilising deep methods on extensive data sets to predict and generate natural-sounding text.

3. Hallucination

In the era of artificial intelligence, hallucination extends beyond human experiences to include instances where machines produce inaccurate or false language.

4. Smishing

A term with a cybersecurity warning, smishing involves sending deceptive text messages to trick individuals into revealing personal or confidential information for malicious purposes.

5. Edgelord

Thanks to figures like Elon Musk, an edgelord is someone who makes provocative and exaggerated statements, often seeking to shock others, particularly in online forums.

6. Doomscroll

In an age dominated by online information, doomscrolling is now officially recognised as the act of spending excessive time scrolling through news or content that induces negative emotions.

7. Passkey

As passwords evolve, passkeys gain prominence—a method of authentication using biometrics like fingerprint or facial recognition to grant access to authorised users.

8. Quiet quit

Recognised by bosses and now in the dictionary, a 'quiet quit' signifies an employee doing the bare minimum at work, reflecting a moment where workers demand better treatment.

9. Meme stock

Originating from the meme stock mania, this term signifies stocks heavily influenced by social media trends and is now ingrained in both cultural and financial lexicons.

10. Last mile

No longer just business jargon, 'last mile' denotes the final stage of delivering a service, such as in telecommunications or delivery services, reaching the end consumer.

11. Girlboss

Despite discussions about its decline, Girlboss captures a cultural conversation—whether empowering or criticised for perpetuating an unhealthy hustle culture for women.

12. Street date

For those not in the know, a 'street date' is the date set by a manufacturer or publisher as the first day a product may be sold to consumers.

13. Microtransaction

Reflecting changing business models, microtransaction involves small online transactions, particularly within video games, often used to purchase exclusive content or gain a competitive advantage.

Incorporating these terms into our vocabulary not only reflects the dynamic nature of technology and business but also highlights the evolving ways we communicate, work, and engage with the world around us. Stay tuned as the dictionary continues to adapt to the ever-shifting landscape of the tech and business buzz.