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

This article will give you all of the information you need on the acronym DHYB, including its definition, usage, origin, sentence examples, and more!

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What does DHYB stand for?

The acronym DHYB stands for “don’t hold your breath,” according to Slang. Don’t hold your breath is a slang term that means one should not expect something to happen soon, or to happen at all. According to Cyber Definitions, this meaning derives from the concept that one will not be able to hold their breath for the amount of time it takes for the event to occur.

DHYB is an initialism, which means that each individual letter is pronounced aloud when saying the acronym. Therefore, the word DHYB would be pronounced “dee aitch why bee,” not “dee-hyib.” This trending slang word is usually only seen via SMS text, on social media like Snapchat, or via instant messenger, and is rarely spoken aloud. Pronouncing DHYB aloud does not save one any time, as it has the same number of syllables as “don’t hold your breath.” This term is used to make the written word more efficient, not speech.

How can DHYB be used in a sentence?

DHYB is a commonly used acronym when texting or instant messaging. In this first example, Erin and Clare are talking about who they are going to prom with.

Clare: I asked Orla last night and she said yes. I’m so relieved. I heard James is thinking of asking you, Erin!

Erin: Yeah right, DHYB. Michelle says he’s planning on asking Jenny tomorrow at lunch.

Clare: No! What a bummer. Well, you can always ask John Paul– he’d say yes in a heartbeat.

Here, Erin advises Clare not to hold her breath about James asking Erin to prom, because she heard he was planning on asking someone else. Basically, Erin is telling Clare not to count on it. 

In this next example, coworkers Leslie and Ann discuss the possibility of company bonuses via instant messenger.

Leslie: DHYB on bonuses. Heard the partners are still debating what the percentage will be this year. I think they’re going to drag it out as long as possible, we probably won’t hear until Friday.

Ann: Bummer! Well, as long as they negotiate for the highest possible number I can be patient.

Leslie: Yeah, DHYB on that either.

Here, Leslie uses DHYB in two ways. First, she uses it to tell Ann not to anticipate hearing about their yearly bonuses any time soon. Second, she uses DHYB to tell Ann not to get her hopes up for a high percentage bonus check.

What are similar acronyms to DHYB?

There are many similar acronyms to DHYB in text speak that people may use in place of slang terms. These are listed below.

  • DBA – “Don’t Bother Asking” – Cyber Definitions states that this term is used to imply bad news in response to a question. This can also stand for “don’t be afraid,” “database administrator,” or “doing business as,” according to Acronyms and Slang.
  • DBD – “Don’t Be Dumb,” “Death Before Dishonor,” or “Dumb B**** Disease,” according to Urban Dictionary. 
  • DAMHIKT – “Don’t Ask Me How I Know That/This” – Internet Slang says that this term is used when someone shares a piece of knowledge that may be embarrassing or strangely specific.
  • DADT – “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”
  • DEGT – “Don’t Even Go There” – This phrase is used to tell someone the user does not want to talk about a specific topic.
  • DET – “Don’t Even Trip” – Used to mean “don’t worry about it,” or “don’t let it bother you.”
  • DFTBA – “Don’t Forget to Be Awesome” – This term was coined by the Vlogbrothers, Hank Green and John Green, who founded the internet community the Nerdfighters.
  • DBEYR – “Don’t Believe Everything You Read”

Is DHYB casual or formal?

DHYB is an extremely casual slang term that should only be used between friends or family. This should never be used with a superior, or in a professional email, resume, business negotiation, or other formal or professional setting. Below is an example of a situation in which it is highly inappropriate to sue DHYB, followed by a revised version.

Santana is replying to an email from her boss who is asking about the status of numerous different projects that are past due.


Hi Jana I’m so sry I’ve been rly swamped. I’m trying 2 get them all done ASAP but DHYB. Will let u know a better ETA soon. – Santana


Hi Jana,

My sincere apologies for the delay. I have been a bit backlogged since returning from my time off. I should be able to have these completed by the end of the week, but I will certainly let you know if I feel I may need more time. Thank you for your patience.



Here, Santana should not use slang terms, abbreviations or text speak when communicating with her boss via email. Rather, she should be professional, and use proper email etiquette and formatting.

What are synonyms for DHYB?

Thesaurus lists numerous adjectives for the phrase “don’t hold your breath,” which are listed below.

  • No way
  • Never
  • Not under any condition
  • Under no circumstance
  • Not in the least
  • Not at all
  • Forget it
  • Not ever
  • At no time
  • Not on your life
  • No time soon
  • Not in any way

Overall, the acronym DHYB stands for “don’t hold your breath.” This term advises the listener not to wait around for a certain thing to happen, implying that they would not be able to hold their breath long enough for the event to occur. This idiom is frequently seen in casual speech and via text.