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Vax is the Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Year for 2021; it is an abbreviation. All types of shortened words and phrases are technically abbreviations, but we generally use this term to denote shortened words—for example, Dr. in place of Doctor, etc. in place of et cetera, A.D in place of anno Domini, lbs. in place of pounds, AK in place of Alaska. Abbreviations have become much more popular because of the immediacy of communicating in emails and text messages. For instance, the word email is an abbreviation of the term, electronic mail. We will examine the meaning of the word vax, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Vax is an abbreviation of the word vaccine or vaccination. Vax is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary as a noun; however, the word is increasingly seen as a verb. Related words are vaxxes, vaxxed, vaxxing, vaxxer, anti-vaxxer. Note that the inflected words double the x in vax; it is acceptable to spell the noun form as vaxx, though it is not as common. The word vax came into use in the United States in the 1990s. Vax soared in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Emilio Estevez out of ‘Mighty Ducks’ spinoff over COVID-19 vax mandate: Report (New York Post)

Troops opposed to the COVID-19 vax can get a waiver, but they’re rare (Military Times)

Hesitancy doesn’t mean teenagers are anti-vaxxers, says Russell Viner, a paediatrician and professor of adolescent health at the UCL Institute of Child Health, and one of the authors of the study of English pupils. (The Guardian)