What Does IRL Mean?

IRL (In Real Life) is used to differentiate between the virtual world (i.e., the internet) and reality. It can also be used to differentiate between actors' characters and the actors themselves.

Summary of Key Points

"In Real Life" is the most common definition for IRL on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Definition:In Real Life
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers

Image for IRL

When I write IRL, I mean this:

meaning of IRL
Some things can be a real let-down in real life.


Examples of IRL in Sentences

Here are examples of IRL being used in sentences:
  • Tony: I now have 1000 Facebook friends!
  • Jordan: All you need now is some IRL.
  • (Here, IRL is used to differentiate between the online world and reality.)
  • She is high maintenance IRL.
  • (Here, IRL is used to differentiate between an actress's character and the actress herself.)

An Academic Look at IRL

IRL is a prepositional phrase (the preposition is in), which is used as an adverb to establish the setting for the main clause. Compare the examples below:
  • In York, you can still legally shoot a Scotsman with a bow.
  • (Here, the prepositional phrase In York is an adverb of place.)
  • IRL, you'll be sent to prison.
  • (Here, IRL is also an adverb of place but it serves like an adverb of concession, which is similar in meaning to In real life though.)
IRL is an initialism abbreviation. This means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., Aye Ar Ell). Initialisms contrast with acronyms, which are spoken like words.

Example of IRL Used in a Text


See Also

Selves-isolating (Locking down with a partner) 4RL (for real) AFRL (away from real life) AYFR (are you for real?) FR (for real) FRILL (for real) LMIRL (let's meet in real life)