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NFT, which is an abbreviation of non-fungible token, has been selected as the word of the year by the Collins Dictionary.

According to Collins, the use of the word rose by over 11,000 percent in 2021, which helped its lexicographers to pick NFT for the top spot over other words such as “crypto“, “cheugy” and “metaverse”.

A look at why Collins Dictionary chose NFT as its word of the year

Why ‘NFT’?

OpenSea
Some collectibles on NFT platform OpenSea. (Image credit: OpenSea)

Collins defines NFT as a “unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible.” It also recognises it as an “asset whose ownership is recorded by means of a non-fungible token.”

Calling the massive usage of an abbreviation “unusual”, Alex Beecroft, managing director of Collins Learning, said, “NFTs seem to be everywhere, from the arts sections to the financial pages and in galleries and auction houses and across social media platforms.”

“Whether the NFT will have a lasting influence is yet to be determined, but its sudden presence in conversations around the world makes it very clearly our word of the year,” he added.

What is NFT?

An NFT is a tradeable digital asset, which is unique as no two NFTs are the same. Usually bought by keen collectors, most NFTs are artworks in digital form. However, they also include music, GIFs, video-game skins, videos and even tweets.

NFTs exist on the blockchain — the system used to create and record transactions of cryptocurrency.

Earlier this year, Canadian musician Grimes sold 10 of her digital artworks as NFTs for around USD 6 million. The same year, Christie’s auctioned an artwork by Mike Winkelmann, professionally known as Beeple, as an NFT for USD 69 million.

NFT Beeple
‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’, the artwork by Beeple whose NFT was auctioned by Christie’s. (Image credit: Beeple/Christie’s)

Most recently, French luxury label Givenchy released 15 NFTs on the OpenSea marketplace. These were created in collaboration with graphic artist Chito.

Previously, the Collins Dictionary had picked “Climate Strike” and “Lockdown” as the word of the year for 2019 and 2020, respectively.

Collins’ top 10 words of 2021

NFT, abbreviation for, noun

1. non-fungible token: a unique digital certificate, registered in a blockchain, that is used to record ownership of an asset such as an artwork or a collectible

2. an asset whose ownership is recorded by means of a non-fungible token

the artist sold the work as an NFT

cheugy, adjective, slang

no longer regarded as cool or fashionable

climate anxiety, noun

a state of distress caused by concern about climate change

crypto, noun, informal

a decentralized digital medium of exchange which is created, regulated, and exchanged using cryptography and (usually) open-source software, and typically used for online purchases

double-vaxxed, adjective, informal

having received two vaccinations against a disease

Also: double-jabbed

hybrid working, noun

the practice of alternating between different working environments, such as from home and in an office

metaverse, noun

1. a proposed version of the internet that incorporates three-dimensional virtual environments

2. a three-dimensional virtual world, esp in an online role-playing game

3. the universe as portrayed in a given work of fiction

neopronoun, noun

a recently coined pronoun, esp one designed to avoid gender distinctions

pingdemic, noun, informal

the large-scale notification of members of the public by a contact-tracing app

Regencycore, noun

a style of dress inspired by clothes worn in high society during the Regency period (1811–20)

Also called: Regency chic

Here’s the complete list.

(Main and Featured image: Old Money/@moneyphotos/Unsplash)