What Does ILY Mean?

ILY means "I Love You" or "I'm Leaving You."

The abbreviation ILY is almost always used with the meaning "I Love You." It is very rarely used to mean "I'm Leaving You" but, if the context fits, you should consider that as an option.

Even though ILY appears to be an expression of love, it should not always be taken literally. ILY is sometimes used just to show grateful affection, rather than actual devotion. Using ILY to tell someone for the first time that you love them is probably not a good idea, as it may come across as insincere. (It's a little bit like texting WYMM (Will you marry me?), i.e., probably not the best way to convince anyone of your sincerity!)

Other Ways of Saying "I Love You"

We carried out a review of social media and messaging apps (especially Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp) and found over a hundred innovative and funny ways of saying "I Love You." Some of the more innovative ways include: Check out our full list of ways of saying the "I Love You" here.

Summary of Key Points

First Definition of ILY

"I Love You" is the most common definition for ILY on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:I Love You
1: Easy to guess
Typical Users:
Adults, Teenagers, and Under 13s

Second Definition of ILY

"I'm Leaving You" is another definition for ILY.
Definition:I'm Leaving You
1: Easy to guess
Typical Users:
Adults, Teenagers, and Under 13s

Image for ILY

When I write ILY, I mean this:

meaning of ILY
ILY can also mean "I'm Leaving You."


Examples of ILY in Sentences

Here are examples of ILY being used in conversations:
  • Billy: Thanks for the flowers. They're beautiful. ILY.
  • Bobby: Anything for you. ILY too.
  • Toni: I've got a spare ticket for the concert. Want to come?
  • Clive: Wow! Thanks mate. ILY.

An Academic Look at ILY

ILY is typically used as a standalone declarative sentence (i.e., a statement). It is not often used as another part of speech within a wider sentence.

ILY is an initialism abbreviation. Technically, this means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., Aye Ell Why), but as this is harder to say than "I love you," it is not often uttered using its letters. The abbreviation ILY is for efficiency in writing and not efficiency in speech.

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we would have just said "I Love You" instead of using ILY.

Example of ILY Used in a Text


See Also

See our list of accented-letter symbols *_* (in love) // (I love you) <3 (love) AML (all my love) IL (in love) ILU (I love you) ILU2 (I love you too) ILUM (I love you more) ILUSM (I love you so much)