What Does SMS Mean?

SMS (Short Message Service) is the 160-character text messaging service used in mobile communication systems and some internet-based chat platforms.

The SMS has been in use since the early 1980s, and was standardized in 1985 by the Franco-German cooperation Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) to provide a system which could be used across all mobile networks.

Image for SMS

When I write SMS, I mean this: meaning of SMS The image shows an SMS on a smartphone.

Summary of Key Points

"Short Message Service" is the most common definition for SMS on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Short Message Service
Guessability:guessability level 1
1: Easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user
Adults and Teenagers


Examples of SMS in Sentences

Here are examples of SMS being used in sentences:
  • I have just found out that brother was fired from his job by SMS.
  • The good thing about using SMS is that you can send it and be sure the message will be received by the recipient.

An Academic Look at SMS

SMS is an initialism abbreviation. This means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., Ess Emm Ess). (Initialisms contrast with acronyms, which are spoken like words.)

SMS is typically used as a noun. The use of SMS as a verb has fallen out of use in recent years, and has been replaced with the verb “to text”. (For example: “I will text you” is now far more commonly used than “I will SMS you”.)

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, SMS messaging did not exist, so there is no direct comparison. We might have said something like "I will ring you" or "I will write to you" instead of SMS.

Example of SMS Used in a Text


"Cyber Speak" Test

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