What Does Pwn Mean in a Text?

Pwn means "To own."

The term "pwn" is believed to have originated from an error in typing the word "own," as the letters "p" and "o" are adjacent on the keyboard.

Pwn is now commonly used on war-game sites. However, it was originally used by computer hackers who referred to "owning" (i.e., taking control of) a system. Pwn does not mean to own in the possessive sense, but instead to dominate or control a game, object or situation.

Image for Pwn

When I write Pwn, I mean this:

meaning of Pwn

Pwn means to own (which is a neologism for to dominate or to have control over).

Summary of Key Points

Definition for Pwn

Pwn means "to own". This is the most common definition for Pwn on Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X (Twitter).
Definition:To Own
(i.e., To Dominate or To Control)
Type:Internet Slang Term
Guessability:guessability level 4
4: Difficult to guess
Typical Users:typical user

Adults and Teenagers

Examples of Pwn in Sentences

Here are examples of Pwn being used in conversations:
  • Tony: How's the game going?
  • Jordan: Ha, I pwn it.
  • Tony: I'm thinking of joining the same karate club as you.
  • Jordan: Yeah, I'll totally pwn you.

An Academic Look at Pwn

Pwn is a verb that derives from "to own." There is no commonly accepted pronunciation, although "pawn" and "pone" are the most popular versions.

What Did We Say before Texting and Social Media?

Before the digital era, we might have said something like "dominate" instead of Pwn.

Example of Pwn Used in a Text

author logo

This page is maintained by the Cyber Definitions Editorial Team.

Help Us Improve Cyber Definitions

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?
  • Do you know a slang term that we've missed?
Please tell us using this form.


Try our fun quiz to test your knowledge of slang and texting abbreviations.
gold cup

gold cup

gold cup

  • This test has questions.
  • A correct answer is worth 5 points.
  • You can get up to 5 bonus points for a speedy answer.
  • Some questions demand more than one answer. You must get every part right.
  • Beware! Wrong answers score 0 points.
  • 🏆 If you beat one of the top 3 scores, you will be invited to apply for the Hall of Fame.
Scoring System

Cyber Guru (+)
Cyber Hero (+)
Cyber Captain (+)
Cyber Sergeant (+)
Cyber Recruit (+)