What Does TOS Mean in a Text?

TOS means "Terms of Service." The abbreviation TOS means the rules that must be agreed to before using a service.

Of note, TOS can also be used as a disclaimer, especially regarding the use of websites. TOS is sometimes written as T&C meaning Terms and Conditions of the service.

TOS is also used by science-fiction tv enthusiasts to describe "The Original Series" of Star Trek. "Trekkies" (Star Trek fans) ascribe abbreviations to each series of the TV show (e.g., TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT).

Image for TOS

When I write TOS, I mean this:

meaning of TOS

TOS (Terms of Service) means the "small print" for a service and must be read.

Summary of Key Points

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

Adults and Teenagers

Examples of TOS in Sentences

Here are examples of TOS being used in conversations:
  • Penny: Why did they charge me extra today?
  • Geoff: Read their TOS.
  • Julie: Have you stopped work already?
  • Matt: Read my TOS, Honey.

An Academic Look at TOS

As it is pronounced using its individual letters (i.e., "Tee Oh Ess"), TOS is classified as an initialism abbreviation. Initialisms are different to 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 "the small print" instead of TOS.

Example of TOS 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 (+)