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AFK Meaning

The acronym AFK stands for "Away From Keyboard".


Posted at December 11, 2020

What does AFK mean?

AFK is the abbreviation of "Away From Keyboard". It serves to indicate your colleagues that your avatar or in-game character is going to stay inactive because you are going to be away for a while.

It can also be used as a synonym for BRB, if the time lapse is short, such as going to eat or to the bathroom.

How to use AFK?

We write AFK when we are going to be away from the keyboard and we want to warn our friends or teammates. Normally, we will use the acronym AFK when we get up from the table and go somewhere: WC, kitchen, to open the door, to eat something...

It is only used in online scenarios, either while playing video games or while chatting on Discord, or in chat/messaging services. It is never used in the formal or professional environment. However, it is common that among colleagues, in less formal environments, it is also used.

AFK can be written in both lower and upper case.

AFK Origin

The term AFK was born in the 90's with the boom of online chats and applications such as IRC.

Later, it was popularized with the arrival of MMOs and online games, where it was common for players to notify their friends via chat.

Nowadays, it is very common that in Discord channels there is a voice channel dedicated to be AFK, where people join when they are away.

Synonyms of AFK

  • Some synonyms for AFK are:
  • BRB
  • Be right back
  • I’ll be absent
  • Small break


The acronym AFK is used when we want to inform our colleagues and friends that we will be away from the keyboard. It is used in informal environments and especially when playing online.


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