What Does AFK Mean?

The abbreviation AFK means "Away From Keyboard." It is used to indicate that the sender is absent, and unable to participate. AFK is most commonly used in multi-player games, and it usually denotes a temporary absence.

AFK is similar in meaning to BRB ("Be Right Back"). However, unlike BRB, AFK does not carry a connotation of "I'll only be a minute." While it denotes a shorter break than logging off, AFK can precede a short or long absence.

A Video Summary

Here's a short video explaining this entry on AFK. It also covers BAK (Back at Keyboard)
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Image for AFK

When I write AFK, I mean this: meaning of AFK AFK declares a temporary absence.

Summary of Key Points

"Away from Keyboard" is the most common definition for AFK on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Away from Keyboard
3: Guessable
Typical Users:
Adults and Teenagers


Examples of AFK in Sentences

Here are examples of AFK being used in conversations:
  • Tony: Where were you? We were slaughtered.
  • Jordan: I told you I was AFK.
  • (Here, AFK is used to record the sender's status.)
  • Tony: John, you take out the sniper.
  • Jordan: John is AFK. I'll do it.
  • (Here, AFK is used to record someone else's status.)

An Academic Look at AFK

Technically, AFK is an adverb of place, but it most often used like a standalone declarative sentence (i.e., a statement), which translates best as "I am away from the keyboard."

AFK is an initialism abbreviation. This means it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., Ay Eff Kay). (Of note, initialisms contrast with acronyms, which are spoken like words.)

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we might have said something like "away until further notice" instead of AFK.

Example of AFK Used in a Text


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