What Does AMA Mean in a Text?

AMA means "Ask Me Anything" and "Against Medical Advice." Here is more information about each of these definitions of AMA.

Ask Me Anything

An AMA ("Ask Me Anything") session is a type of informal interview in which the host is open to questions from the audience. AMAs are usually conducted on social media sites, such as Twitter, YouTube and, especially, Reddit.
Sleazy Origins
The term AMA has been in use since the 1990s. It began in an AOL chatroom that was hosted in a romance category, where the questions were usually of a sexual nature. When Reddit opened its "I Am A... Ask Me Anything" subreddit (/r/IAmA/), AMA became more widely popular and lost its sexual undertones.
Who Can Host an AMA?
Participants in AMAs are often influencers, celebrities, and other high-profile figures, but may be anyone with a story to tell. Some of the most notable people who have hosted AMAs on Reddit are:
  • Barack Obama.
  • Madonna.
  • Bill Murray.
  • Snoop Dogg.
  • Sir David Attenborough.
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger.
More recently, businesses have started to leverage AMAs as a culture- and trust-building activity.
Who Can Ask Questions?
Usually, anyone who is subscribed to an AMA can post a question. Questions are typically posted in the comments section, then voted on by the audience and the host is expected to answer the most popular questions.

However, that doesn't always happen. Although the host is usually expected to answer the questions that have received the most votes, they can (and do) pick and choose the questions they want to answer.
Aren't They Just PR Opportunities for Celebs?
Of course, the majority of celebrities that do AMAs are doing it for the publicity. However, as the questions are usually not vetted, there is an element of risk involved, especially if they choose to ignore popular questions.

One famous example of an AMA that apparently* went wrong on Reddit was one hosted by actor Woody Harrelson. The actor received widespread criticism for only seeming interested in promoting his latest movie (which we won't do here, by naming it!).

*We say "apparently," because the criticism of Harrelson's AMA went viral, thereby achieving huge publicity for the actor and the movie.

Harrelson's "disastrous" AMA, among others, gave rise to the extension of AMA to AMAA ("Ask Me Almost Anything"), which many subjects now use in the title of their AMA to make it clear that some areas are off limits.

Against Medical Advice

AMA also means "Against Medical Advice." In this context, it refers to an instance when a patient chooses to act in a way contrary to the advice of the physician treating them. For example:
  • He left the hospital AMA.
  • AMA she insisted on playing.

Image for AMA

When I write AMA, I mean this:

meaning of AMA

The most popular AMAs are usually hosted on Reddit.

Summary of Key Points for First Definition

"Ask Me Anything" is the most common definition for AMA on Reddit, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Definition:Ask Me Anything
Guessability:guessability level 4
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Summary of Key Points for Second Definition

"Against Medical Advice" is another definition for AMA.
Definition:Against Medical Advice
Guessability:guessability level 4
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

An Academic Look at AMA

As it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., "Ay Em Ay"), AMA is classified as an initialism abbreviation. Initialisms are different to acronyms, which are spoken like words.

Example of AMA Used in a Text

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