What Does 721 Mean in a Text?

Normally in texting, the number 721 means "Love you." However, in Chinese text messaging it can mean "Dear." Read on to find out why.

Love You

721 usually means 'love you'

721 is a form of shorthand used in texts or on social media to say "Love you," which is an informal way of expressing love or deep affection for someone. In other words, "love you" is a casual way of saying "I love you," which some people find awkward to say when using the actual words. However, fear not. If you've received a message with "721," you should not consider it a lighter version of "I love you." The difference between "love you" and "I love you" is not relevant when numbers are used to represent these terms.

721 is made up as follows:
  • 7 - Represents the total number of letters in the phrase "Love you."
  • 2 - Represents the number of words in the phrase "Love you."
  • 1 - Tells us that the term has one meaning (i.e., "Love you").
People often use "love you" in casual conversations with friends, family members, romantic partners, or anyone they have strong feelings for. It's a way to convey warmth and affection towards someone in a friendly or loving manner. Like all abbreviations used to express love, when used in a romantic context, 721 allows the sender to avoid the embarrassment felt by some when professing their emotions (or to say "Love you" without really meaning it).

Similar abbreviations include 143, 381, and 831.

When I write 721, I probably mean this:

meaning of 721

7 (seven letters) 2 (two words) 1 (one meaning).


721 can be a Chinese text code meaning 'dear' This is a toughie for non-Chinese speakers, but Chinese text abbreviations are catching on everywhere, even in the English-speaking world!
When the number 721 is read out loud in Chinese, it sounds similar to the words 亲爱的, which translate as "Dear," which is an affectionate term that conveys warmth and love. It's a term of endearment that signifies a close connection.

Check out our page on Chinese chat codes for more.

When I write 721, I may mean this:

meaning of 721

When the individual numbers in 721 are read aloud in Chinese, they sound like the words 亲爱的, which mean "Dear."

Summary of Key Points for First Definition

"Love You (7 letters, 2 words, 1 meaning)" is the most common definition for 721 on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Love You (7 letters, 2 words, 1 meaning)
Guessability:guessability level 5
5: Extremely difficult to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Summary of Key Points for Second Definition

The Chinese phrase 亲爱的, which translates as "Dear," is another common definition for 721.
Definition:亲爱的 (Dear)
Type:Numeronym (Chinese)
Guessability:guessability level 1

1: Easy to guess (if you understand Chinese, else virtually impossible)

Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at 721

721 is a numeronym, which is an abbreviation made up of just numbers or of letters and numbers.

Numeronyms can be formed in various ways, such as:
  • Shortening a word by replacing a sequence of letters with the count of those letters (e.g., i18n for "internationalization" and a11y for "accessibility").
  • Combining letters and numbers (e.g, K9 for "canine" and W3 for "World Wide Web").
  • Using numbers to represent letters or words (e.g., 143 for "I love you," 637 for "always and forever," and 5201314 for "I will love you for a lifetime").
Numeronyms were used long before the digital era. Many of the early ones were written on the envelopes of letters between lovers. They were often a coded message between the sender and the recipient, thought to allow secret expressions of love or passion.

Using Numbers in Texts

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

Example of 721 Used in a Text

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