LOL Meaning & Definition

Capitalized or lowercase, LOL is an abbreviation for “laugh out loud,” an indication of humor or cheerfulness. Abbreviations like LOL gained popularity in the early 2000s with the rise of informal, text-based communication. Platforms like chat rooms and online video games created an environment for LOL and similar abbreviations to become an integral part of popular culture. Variations of LOL include ROFL (short for “rolling on the floor laughing”), lolz, lulz, lawl/lawlz, lolwut, and more explicit alternatives.

LOL is perhaps the most common abbreviation still widely used today, despite the fact that technological innovations have made it easier to type in longform and most text messaging is no longer restricted by character count. Today, there are many means of expressing laughter from GIFs to emoticons/emojis to simple onomatopoeia so the connotative meaning of LOL has shifted slightly since the heyday of shorthand texting. In most modern contexts, LOL has become a representation of slight amusement or a signifier that the message should be interpreted lightheartedly.

It’s worth noting that LOL is best reserved for informal communication. Emails, corporate memos, blogs, and similar forms of communication are typically too formal for texting shorthand. As such, the use of LOL in those mediums is usually regarded as unprofessional.

Avatar
Kaiti Norton
Kaiti Norton is a Nashville-based Content Writer for TechnologyAdvice, a full-service B2B media company. She is passionate about helping brands build genuine connections with their customers through relatable, research-based content. When she's not writing about technology, she's sharing her musings about fashion, cats, books, and skincare on her blog.

Top Articles

Huge List Of Texting and Online Chat Abbreviations

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

How To Create A Desktop Shortcut To A Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Creating a desktop...

The History Of Windows Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems. We look at the history of Microsoft's Windows operating systems (Windows OS) from 1985 to present...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

  By Vangie Beal Hotmail is one of the first public webmail services that can be accessed from any web browser. Prior to Hotmail and its...

Relational Database Definition &...

A relational database stores and connects data in tables and columns, emphasizing the...

Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL)...

What is COBOL? COBOL stands for Common Business-Oriented Language. It is a 60-year-old programming...

Shared Hosting Definition &...

Shared hosting is a web hosting model in which multiple sites occupy the...