What Does OIC Mean?

OIC means "Officer In Command" or "Oh, I See."

Officer In Command

In the military and emergency services, the abbreviation OIC is used with the meaning "Officer In Command" to refer to an officer who is in charge of any unit, sub-unit or post.

"Oh, I See"

The abbreviation OIC is more widely used with the meaning "Oh, I See" to indicate that the sender understands what has been said. In this context, the use of OIC often implies that the sender feels that their previous inability to understand was due to a lack of clarity on the part of the other party or that they are not totally convinced by the explanation that has been given. OIC is also often used as a preamble to a negative response, indicating what was being said or suggested was difficult to understand because it was unrealistic or ridiculous. For example:
  • OIC, you smoked, but you didn't inhale so it doesn't count? I get it.
  • OIC, you were just following orders. I suppose you think that makes it alright?
The website "Oh, I See" transforms interviews with members of the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Inter) community into biographical comic strips detailing their individual stories.

Image for OIC

When I write OIC, I mean this:

meaning of OIC

OIC also means "Officer In Command."

Summary of Key Points

First Definition for OIC

OIC means "Officer In Command." This is the most common definition for OIC in military circles.
Definition:Officer In Command
Guessability:guessability level 3

3: Guessable

Typical Users:typical user


Second Definition for OIC

OIC also means "Oh, I See." This is the most common definition for OIC on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X (Twitter).
Definition:Oh, I See
Guessability:guessability level 2
2: Quite easy to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Examples of OIC in Sentences

Here are examples of OIC being used in conversations:
  • Sandra: I'd like to come, but I have to wash my hair.
  • Rick: OIC.
  • (Here, OIC means "Oh, I See" and implies scepticism.)
  • Officer: Who's OIC of this post?
  • Soldier: We don't have an OIC, sir. Sergeant Jones is in charge.
  • (Here, OIC means "Officer In Command.")

An Academic Look at OIC

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

OIC is normally used as a standalone declarative sentence (i.e., a statement). It is not used as another part of speech within a wider sentence.

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

The use of OIC to mean "Officer In Command" predates the digital era.

We might have said something like "Now I understand" instead of using OIC to mean "Oh, I See."

Example of OIC Used in a Text


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