What Does Acronym Mean?

An acronym is an abbreviation, usually created from the first letters of a phrase. Acronyms are widely used in technology and the computer industry. Acronyms are largely used in the areas of internet, network protocols, routing, switching protocols and technology products.


When it comes to texting, acronyms are known by different terms such as chat acronyms or internet slang. Chat acronyms help users to communicate faster and more concisely, and can be useful on devices and in formats where there is a character limitation.

Techopedia Explains Acronym

With technology being a broad and growing field, the use and number of acronyms is continually growing. Acronyms can help in creating a buzz around a new idea or product. In fact, IT businesses often use acronyms to differentiate and sell their products. Acronyms also help in describing technology in a more efficient manner.

In the field of personal computers, commonly used acronyms include:

  • CPU – Central processing unit
  • RAM – Random-access memory
  • USB – Universal serial bus

When it comes to organizations, commonly known acronyms are:

  • IBM – International Business Machines Corporation
  • ANSI – American National Standards Institute
  • W3C – World Wide Web Consortium
  • IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers

In programming languages, some of the acronyms are:

  • BASIC – Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
  • COBOL – Common Business-Oriented Language
  • JEE – Java Enterprise Edition

In the area of networking, commonly used acronyms are:

  • FTP – File Transfer Protocol
  • HTTPS – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure
  • IP – Internet Protocol
  • LAN – Local area network
  • SMTP – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol

In chat and text messaging, common acronyms include:

  • LOL – Laughing out loud
  • IDK – I don’t know
  • BRB – (I’ll) be right back

Acronyms help average technology users or consumers to better remember a product, feature or a service. From a chat perspective, the rise of smart devices and affordable internet are the two major factors which led to the development of acronyms. In fact, chat acronyms are popular on the internet as a modern method of shorthand, especially when it comes to common phrases. Chat acronyms are advantageous to users as they are faster to type and it is very convenient to be able to convey thoughts or express emotions by typing only a few letters. Chat acronyms are largely used in email messages, newsgroup postings, online discussions, instant messages and text messages.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.