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3

What Does 3 Mean in a Text?

image of the number 3

The number 3 is used in text chat as part of various emoticons and as a substitute for the letter E. On its own,it doesn't have any widely accepted significance. Read on to find out more.

Number 3 in Emoticons

The number 3 is used in a number of emoticons (graphical representations of emotion) to form a heart or a face. For example: Even though emoticons have largely been made redundant on most messaging apps, some of these have endured. They are mainly used by "old schoolers," but are also occasionally sent by people of all ages. (Probably because an emoticon can sometimes seem more sincere, or cuter, than an emoji

For a complete list of emoticons, check out our icons and emoticons page.

Don't miss our interactive list of every emoji!

Number 3 in Words

In text-based messaging and online communications, 3 is widely used as a substitute for the letter E. For example: When used this way, 3 is often referred to as "leetspeak," the name given to an alternative alphabet that emerged in the early days of the internet.

Image for 3

When I write 3, I mean this:

meaning of 3

The number 3 is used as part of various emoticons and as a substitute for the letter E.

Summary of Key Points for the First Definition

The number 3 is widely used as part of an emoticon on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
3
Definition:Emoticon
Type:Emoticon
Guessability:guessability level 5
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Summary of Key Points for the Second Definition

The number 3 is also used as a substitute for the letter E.
3
Definition:The letter E
Type:Numeronym
Guessability:guessability level 2
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at 3

image for an academic look at the number 3

The number 3 is often used as part of an emoticon. Emoticons are a way to show emotion in text-based communication. They consist of a small group of symbols arranged to show emotions, such as happiness, sadness, anger, and others, using the letters, numbers, and symbols usually found on a standard keyboard in a typographic approximation of the desired illustration.

When used to represent the letter E, 3 is a numeronym, which is an abbreviation made up of just numbers or of letters and numbers.

Using Numbers in Texts

This video shows the different ways that numbers are used in "text speak":

Example of 3 Used in a Text

3
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