The Meaning of BRB: What It Is and How To Use It

Have you ever been curious about the definition of BRB? This guide will provide you with all of the information you need on the acronym BRB, including its meaning, synonyms, example sentences, and more!

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What does the acronym BRB stand for?

According to Dictionary, Urban Dictionary, and How To Geek, the abbreviation BRB is an internet slang term that stands for “be right back.” This term is often used via social media, when SMS text messaging, or when instant messaging to indicate to the person that someone is speaking with that you must step away from the computer or phone temporarily, but will be back to the conversation shortly. This also implies that the person you are speaking with should wait for your return and not be confused with why you have stopped responding. 

The term BRB is also similar to the other internet slang term AFK, which stands for away from keyboard. People use this when they are stepping away from their computer but will shortly return. This acronym was contrived in the internet chatrooms of the 1990s, when instant messaging services did not yet have an offline or away status. Here, many people who used the services would type BRB as a way of letting other people know that you will return shortly. This is the opposite of G2G or GTG, which stand for “got to go.” This means that the person must leave immediately and will not return for a long period of time.

According to The Free Dictionary, the acronym BRB can stand for a lot more than just “be right back.” This acronym has a plethora of other definitions. While these are still accepted, they are far less common than “be right back” and should therefore be used sparingly. If you do plan on using one of these alternate definitions, make sure that you provide the proper context to the recipient before using them so as to not cause confusion. This should be standard practice for any acronym that has more than one potential meaning. 

  • Batteries de Renseignement de Brigade (French armed forces unit)
  • Business Reducing Barriers (UK)
  • Big Red Balls (gaming)
  • Busy Rescuing Batman
  • Bongibault Rénovation Bâtiment (French building renovation company)
  • British Railways Board
  • Buried Ruins of Bacaba (gaming, Outwar Zone)
  • Big Red Button
  • Brazilian Rainbow Boa (herpetoculture)
  • Black Raid Bulls (French airsoft club)
  • Bond Review Board (Texas)
  • Black River Boats
  • Base Rate Boundary
  • Banco Regional de Brasília SA (Brazilian bank)
  • Bug Review Board
  • Brigade de Répression du Banditisme (French police)
  • Business Research Bureau
  • Barbados (ISO Country code)
  • Bernard and Audre Rapoport Building (University of Texas, Austin)
  • Bathroom Break (chat)
  • Budget Review Board
  • Blue Ridge Boogie
  • Builders Registration Board (AU)
  • Biweekly Rate Booklet
  • Briggs Rainbow Buildings, Inc.
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet
  • Baseline Review Board (US Navy)
  • Bright Red Blood (medical)
  • Blue Ridge Broadcasting
  • Benzodiazepine Receptor Binding
  • Bar Room Bar (UK)
  • Brittany Rolled Baits
  • Bath Room Break
  • Benelux Research Business
  • Butler Rogers Baskett Architects
  • Buckling-Restrained Brace (engineering)
  • Baguio Realtors Board (Philippines)
  • Banque de la République du Burundi (Central Bank of Burundi)
  • Benefits Review Board (US Department of Labor)
  • Big Red Band
  • Biometric Research Branch
  • Brandenburg
  • Brienz Rothorn Bahn (Swiss railway)
  • Bayerische Regionalbahn (German: Bavarian Regional Rail; Bavaria, Germany)

How can the acronym BRB be used in a sentence?

The acronym BRB can be used in a wide variety of casual settings. This acronym should only be used in informal situations and is not appropriate to use in formal or professional settings like business emails, negotiations, or letters. Like any slang term of acronym, make sure that the formality of the situation is appropriate before you decide to use BRB. In this first example, Sammy and Isa are chatting over instant messenger. 

Sammy: BTW, those selfies we took today are trending so hard on IG!

Isa: OMG no way! That’s awesome! You’re a great photographer.

Sammy: TYSM! Ugh hold on, BRB my mom is calling me.

Isa: Okay NP!

[5 minutes later]

Sammy: Ok I’m back! Sorry about that.

Isa: NP at all! What happened?

Sammy: She wanted to make sure I remembered that I had math tutoring tomorrow… unfortunately yes, I do remember!

In this scenario, Sammy uses the slang term BRB to alert Isa that she has to step away from the computer to talk to her mother. In this next example, June is texting with her friend Stanley. She is waiting on a big call from a potential job opportunity.

June: Yeah, my last interview went really well! I don’t know when I’ll hear but it could be any day now!

Stanley: That’s so exciting! Crossing my fingers for you. I’m sure you killed it!

June: TYSM! OMG, BRB, they’re calling me RN!

[5 minutes later]

June: You’re texting with the next senior marketing executive! I got the job!

Stanley: Congrats June! So proud of you!

Here, June uses the term BRB to tell Stanley that she will be back shortly because she had to take a call. People usually use BRB to alert people as to why they will be away so that the other person does not feel abandoned or ignored. It is a polite way of letting someone know that you will return to the conversation shortly. 

Overall, the acronym BRB most often stands for be right back. This is an internet slang term that is used to indicate to another person that you must step away from the computer or phone but that you will return after a short time. This abbreviation, along with other popular internet slang terms like LOL, OMG, ROFL, PLZ, and others, are common initialisms that one may see if they are SMS text messaging with someone or communicating with someone via social media.