‘Era’ has been crowned as the “vibe” word of the year by Dictionary.com – undeniably aided by the success of Taylor Swift’s ongoing tour of the same name.

The word was named by the website as its inaugural Vibe of 2023 yesterday (December 18), with the organisers crediting it for its evolution across the year, as well as its surge in popularity across the world in recent months.

“Vibe was one of Dictionary.com’s top lookups of the year, which led us to consider what word could best represent 2023’s overall culture vibe,” said Grant Barrett, head of lexicography at the website (via Billboard).

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“Like vibe, the word era has been undergoing a similarly slangy evolution, referring to our moods, aesthetics, and life stages—and in 2023, we saw a real surge in this use of eras across popular culture.”

The term, which was originally derived from Latin and has been used commonly in the English language since the 17th century, is formally defined as the “periods of time in a person’s life characterised by something distinctive and noticeable, such as a particular emotional state, relationship, achievement, or interest”.

Its usage also grew substantially throughout 2023, namely due to its use on social media platforms and newer slang meaning to refer to either an artist’s album cycle or a stage in someone’s personal life.

A young fan exchanges friendship bracelets with Taylor Swift as she performs onstage during “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour”. CREDIT: TAS2023 via Getty Images

However, one of the main factors driving the word into popularity over the past 12 months will no doubt be in relation to the monumental live shows by Taylor Swift, titled the ‘Eras Tour’.

Since kicking off with the US leg back in March, now-billionaire Swift has broken numerous records with her live shows this year, and the ‘Eras’ tour is projected to raise a total of $5.7billion – enough to send every person in the United States $20.

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Showing how widespread the impact of the tour is, software company QuestionPro calculated that each show raises around $93million for the local economy, and with the average ticket price being around $450, Swift herself is estimated to receive as much as $4.1billion from the tour in total.

As well as the shows themselves, the ‘Eras’ tour also made it to the big screen, with an official concert film arriving in cinemas in October which scored the biggest opening weekend for a concert film in history.

Taylor Swift performs onstage during
Taylor Swift performs onstage during “Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour”. CREDIT: Buda Mendes/TAS23/Getty Images

“Our choice is also, of course, inspired by the year’s most high-profile, record-setting, impossible-to-ignore cultural phenomenon,” Barrett added, making a nod to the impact Swift has had on the decision. “Swift’s use of the word on the grandest of stages has helped to solidify it as a way of taking control of one’s own story.”

The success of the ‘Eras’ tour wasn’t just down to the fans either, with it being reported that the state of Pennsylvania officially declared this year as its “Taylor Swift era” over the weekend.

Swift has also been announced as Forbes’ most powerful woman in media and entertainment and Spotify’s Top Global Artist of 2023, as well as making countless headlines with her tour due to the elaborate set-ups, guest appearances and generous treatment of the crew.

The tour – which caused activity similar to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake over the summer – is set to kick off again in February with four dates at the Tokyo Dome, it will then head over to the UK and Europe before ending on December 8, 2024.

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