The title was awarded to rizz after a poll voted on by 32,000 people and a team of language experts ultimately selected it above other slang terms.
The Gen Z slang term, short for "charisma" and encompassing a whole host of flirtatious activity and attractive qualities, was undoubtedly a top meme of the year, but perhaps the ever-present confusion surrounding the term helped it stick in the cultural consciousness, as it seemed many (particularly folks older than Gen Z kids) were confused upon hearing the term dominate sites like TikTok throughout 2023.
As might be expected from the literal dictionary, the OED does a good job of breaking down "rizz" in an understandable manner.
"Rizz" is simply a shortened version of "charisma," in much the same way "fridge" is for "refrigerator" and "flu" is for "influenza." The dictionary also adds "rizz up" as a variation, which means to flirt with and can be used synonymously with "chat up." This version is perhaps best known from the viral "Baby Gronk Rizz King, Livvy Just Rizzed Him Up" trend earlier this year.
Unfortunately, the dictionary does not attempt to define some of the more ridiculous offshoots of "rizz" like "Stick out Your Gyatt for The Rizzler," but it successfully has outlined a baseline understanding of "rizz" for clueless parents.
The OED cited a June interview with Tom Holland in which he joked he had "negative rizz" as the peak moment for the term during 2023.
"Rizz" also notably beat out other popular 2023 terms like Swiftie, Situationship, Prompt (as in AI prompt) and Parasocial for OED's Word of the Year.