We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out moreJump to Main NavigationJump to Content
  • Text size: A
  • A

LOL, int. and n.2

Hear pronunciation/ˌɛləʊˈɛl/
Hear pronunciation/ˌɛlˌoʊˈɛl/
Forms:  1900s– LOL, 1900s– lol. (Show Less)
Frequency (in current use):  Show frequency band information
Origin: Formed within English, as an initialism. Etymon: English laughing out loud.
Etymology: Initialism < the initial letters of laughing out loud; sometimes also pronounced as an acronym.
The first L of LOL is sometimes also explained as the initial letter of laugh.
 A. int.

  Originally and chiefly in the language of electronic communications: ‘ha ha!’; used to draw attention to a joke or humorous statement, or to express amusement.

1989   FidoNews (Electronic text) 8 May   LOL—Laughing Out Loud.
1993   Re: Walking out of Movies in bit.listserv.cinema-l (Usenet newsgroup) 3 Aug.   LOL... Damn, that's even worse... Ba Ha Ha Ha ha ha!
2002   What Mobile Apr. 23/3 (heading)    Wan2 go on a d8 2nite? LOL. Everyone flirts, but will people really do it on their mobiles?
2003   K. Sampson Freshers 100   ‘Wow, man! Are you, like, really from a council estate?’ ‘Yep.’ ‘Lol! Awesome.’
2006   J. Dibbell Play Money xxiv. 170   There was a pause, then finally: lol. i know what ur hintin at.

1989—2006(Hide quotations)

 B. n.2

  An instance of the written interjection ‘LOL’.

1993   San Diego Union-Tribune 14 Feb. d2/3   Someone who cracks a joke might get an ‘LOL’ in response—for ‘Laughing Out Loud’.
1995   RE: Polygonal shaped GIFs in comp.infosystems.www.authoring.images (Usenet newsgroup) 13 Aug.   I got a LOL about ‘Geometrically challenged’.
2000   Times Union (Albany, N.Y.) (Nexis) 7 Sept. (Three Star ed.) d1   Last week.., 14-year-old Caitlin Orlofsky and her friends caught up on it all, in a conversation punctuated by LOLs.
2009   R. V. Kozinets Netnography x. 183   All of it blogged and microblogged and promoted with lots of omgs and lols.

1993—2009(Hide quotations)


This is a new entry (OED Third Edition, March 2011; most recently modified version published online March 2022).