What Does ABS Mean in a Text?

Abs usually means "absolutely," but can also mean "abdominals." In motoring, ABS means and "Anti-Lock Braking System." Here is more information about each of these definitions with examples of use.


image for abs, showing emoji with thumbs up

The abbreviation "abs" is most commonly used in internet chat forums and text speak to mean "absolutely" (as in "completely" or "totally"). In this context, it is a contraction, typically used to express agreement. For example:

  • Toni: Don't you just hate it when people respond to your questions with one-word answers?
  • Jordan: abs.
  • Toni: I'm abs furious with Jordan!
  • Jo: Let me guess. Her one-word answers again? I abs hate that too!


image for abs, showing a well-shaped midriff

"Abs" is also widely used online and in general speech to refer to the stomach muscles, more specifically, the rectus abdominis or "abdominals," the principal muscles that show when a person has a well-defined "six pack." For example:

  • Lee: My abs are sore after that workout. I bet I have a six pack by tomorrow.
  • Sam: You dork! You're 100 pounds overweight. You won't see your abs for at least six months.

Anti-Lock Braking System

image for abs, showing car disk brake

ABS (pronounced "A.B.S.") can also mean "Anti-Lock Braking System," which is an electronically-controlled safety system that prevents a vehicle's brakes from locking-up when they are applied harshly.

Image for ABS

When I write ABS, I mean this:

meaning of ABS

Abs more often means "absolutely" and can mean "Anti-Lock Braking System."

Summary of Key Points

First Definition of ABS

"Absolutely" is the most common definition for ABS on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Guessability:guessability level 2
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Second Definition of ABS

"Abdominals" (Stomach Muscles) is another common definition for ABS.
Guessability:guessability level 1
1: Easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Third Definition of ABS

ABS also means "Anti-Lock Braking System."
Definition:Anti-Lock Braking System
Guessability:guessability level 2
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at ABS

image for academic look, showing a teacher with a mortar board

When used to mean "Absolutely" or "Abdominals" abs is a shortened version, or a contraction. Contractions tend to be formed in one of three ways:

  • Using letters from the start of the word (e.g., ABS from "Absolutely").
  • Using letters from the start and end of the word (e.g., ABS from "Abdominals").
  • Using an apostrophe to replace a letter or letters (e.g., can't from "Cannot").

For reasons of brevity, contractions are rarely followed by periods/full stops and apostrophes are routinely omitted in text speak and on social-media platforms.

When used with the meaning "Anti-Lock Braking System" ABS is classified as an initialism abbreviation, because it is pronounced using its individual letters.

Example of ABS Used in a Text

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