What Does AFK Mean?

AFK (Away From Keyboard) is used to record your status (or someone else's) as being absent (i.e., unable to participate). It is most commonly used in multiplayer games, and it usually denotes a temporary absence.

It is similar to BRB (Be Right Back). However, unlike BRB, it does not carry a connotation of "I'll only be a minute". While it denotes a shorter break than logging off, AFK can precede a short or long absence.

Summary of Key Points

"Away from Keyboard" is the most common definition for AFK on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Definition:Away from Keyboard
3: Guessable
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers

Image for AFK

When I write AFK, I mean this:

meaning of AFK
AFK declares a temporary absence.


Examples of AFK in Sentences

Here are examples of AFK being used in conversations:
  • Tony: Where were you? We were slaughtered.
  • Jordan: I told you I was AFK.
  • (Here, AFK is used to record the sender's status.)
  • Tony: John, you take out the sniper.
  • Jordan: John is AFK. I'll do it.
  • (Here, AFK is used to record someone else's status.)

An Academic Look at AFK

Technically, AFK is an adverb of place, but it most often used like a standalone declarative sentence (i.e., a statement), which translates best as "I am away from the keyboard."

AFK is an initialism abbreviation. This means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., Ay Eff Kay). (Of note, initialisms contrast with acronyms, which are spoken like words.)

What Did We Use To Say?

Before the digital era, we might have said something like "away until further notice" instead of AFK.

Example of AFK Used in a Text


See Also

Selves-isolating (Locking down with a partner) BRB (be right back) BRBK (be right back) BBS (be back soon) BTS (be there soon) SYS (see ya soon) HTHFYS (hope to hear from you soon)