â€śFintechâ€ť has made it to the mainstream.
Publisher Merriam-Webster has added fintech to the online version of its dictionary, along with 839 other new words and terms, the company announced Tuesday.
Many of the newly added words come from the world of technology, said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Websterâ€™s editor at large.
â€śIn this age of fast communication, and technological and scientific advances, we continuously encounter new ways of describing the world around us,â€ť he said in a statement announcing the new words.
One such term: â€śfintech,â€ť a combination of the words â€śfinancialâ€ť and â€śtechnology.â€ť
Merriam-Webster defines â€śfintechâ€ť as â€śproducts and companies that employ newly developed digital and online technologies in the banking and financial services industries.â€ť
It can also be used before another noun, as in the term â€śfintech sector,â€ť or apply to a business that creates financial technology, such as in the sentence, â€śTraditional banks are eager to court fintechs as clients,â€ť Merriam-Webster says.
Though the word may be unfamiliar to those outside the world of finance, chances are that youâ€™ve encountered a fintech product as a consumer. Companies including the payment company Stripe, the student-loan refinancing company SoFi and the trading platform Robinhood are all known as â€śfintechs.â€ť Even banksâ€™ apps are considered to be fintech, despite not being stand-alone companies.
Merriam-Webster editors noticed usage of the word â€śfintechâ€ť becoming more common between 2004 and 2006, Sokolowski said. Prior to then it was known almost exclusively within the finance community.
â€śEvery word has its own pace,â€ť he said. â€śWhen a wordâ€™s use spreads to the rest of us, to a broader group, thatâ€™s when the word goes into the dictionary.â€ť
More recently, fintech has become more widespread, as mainstream financial companies either have debuted fintech projects themselves or have forged partnerships with other companies to add new features in such areas as mobile payments, mobile banking or peer-to-peer payments, said Michelle Evans, head of digital consumer research at Euromonitor International, a research firm.
Investment in fintech has fallen slightly from its peak in 2014 and 2015, but it still hit $31 billion in 2017, according to research from research firm Forrester. â€śFintech is no longer niche,â€ť the firm wrote in March.
Words warrant their own entry and definition in Merriam-Websterâ€™s dictionary when they stop â€śbeing used with the linguistic kid gloves you see with new words,â€ť such as quotation marks, italics and parenthetical information describing the word, Sokolowski said.
Fintech â€śdeserves a Merriam-Webster definition,â€ť said Brendan Miller, a principal analyst at Forrester. â€śIt has ingrained itself into the tapestry of broader business terminology.â€ť
A few other words from the worlds of business and technology also made the Merriam-Webster cut this week.
Citizens of the Internet will likely recognize some of them, including â€śGOAT,â€ť the abbreviation for â€śgreatest of all time,â€ť and â€śTL;DR,â€ť which stands for â€śtoo long; didnâ€™t read.â€ť
â€śBiohackingâ€ť is another addition, defined as â€śbiological experimentation (as in gene editing or the use of drugs or implants) done to improve the qualities or capabilities of living organisms.â€ť
â€śMedical marijuanaâ€ť and â€śCBD,â€ť both terms related to the use of marijuana, are new Merriam-Webster additions.
And â€śbingeable,â€ť meaning â€śhaving multiple episodes or parts that can be watched in rapid succession,â€ť made it in, too, a sign of the growing popularity of viewing shows on streaming services including Netflix NFLX, -6.17% Â .
Another term you might be tempted to use if youâ€™ve seen these kinds of schemes on Facebook: â€śmultilevel marketing,â€ť meaning â€śa business structure or practice in which an individual seller earns commissions both from direct sales and from the sales of the sellerâ€™s recruits, of those recruited by the sellerâ€™s recruits, and so on.â€ť
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