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

Ever wonder what OST stands for? This article will present you with all of the necessary information on the abbreviation OST, including its meaning, usage, sentence examples, and more!

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What does the acronym OST stand for?

According to Urban Dictionary, the abbreviation OST means “original sound track.” Anime News Network states that an original soundtrack is the music that is used in a television show, motion picture, or live show. This can include  background music, mood music, incidental music and opening and ending theme music. If the television series is very long and covers multiple seasons, there is usually too much music to release on a single album. In this case, they will release several OST albums, often separated by the season of the television show. Sometimes in television shows, the editors can only use a portion of a given song due to time restrictions. However on the OST, the album will contain the entire piece of music. 

Some OSTs do only contain the shortened versions of the songs, and some do not even include the title or ending music depending on licensing restrictions. Theme music is either an opening theme or ending theme, and these serve to set a mood for the show or film while the opening or ending credits are rolling. They are usually written as originals for each show and film, but are sometimes pre-existing songs. For example, according to Genius, the show Chuck used an instrumental of the song “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” by the band Cake for its theme song instead of composing something original.

These can also include incidental music, or “IM.” These are also called insert songs or featured songs, and these are pieces of music that are used within the body of the television show or film. These are different from background music because these are given more attention than the score that occurs in the background. There is rarely much dialogue over a piece of incidental music, in contrast to background music.

According to Dictionary, The Free Dictionary and Abbreviations, the abbreviation OST can also stand for a plethora of other things. However, all of these meanings and slang terms are much less common than the meaning “original soundtrack.” One should be careful when using alternate meanings of certain acronyms because one will likely assume they mean the most popular meaningl. Ensure the context is clear before using unclear acronyms.

  • Office of Secure Transportation
  • Offline Storage Table
  • Old Spanish Trail
  • Optical Standards Testers
  • Official Soundtrack
  • Out of School Time (after-school care programs)
  • Out of State Transfer (various applications)
  • Oglala Sioux Tribe (Pine Ridge, SD)
  • Opioid Substitution Therapy (drug dependency)
  • Office of Science and Technology
  • Original Star Trek (TV series)
  • Opioid Substitution Treatment
  • Open Source Technologies (various locations)
  • On-Screen Text (Games)
  • On Screen Time
  • Open Systems Theory
  • On Second Thought
  • Optimal Solutions and Technology
  • Outer Space Treaty
  • Organic Solute Transporter
  • Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians

How is the acronym OST commonly used?

While OST can be used to discuss the soundtrack of any motion picture, television show, video game, or other piece of media, it is frequently used to refer to the soundtracks of kdramas and anime series. Anime News Network states that both anime OSTs and image albums are often bootlegged.

Image albums are soundtracks that contain a series of songs that were composed based on the screenplay along before production has begun. Here, the composer uses the screenplay alone to create music that evokes the same feeling. Many of these scores are later edited or revised to fit into the final animation.

These scores are often bootlegged because they were not licensed in North America and importing them from Japan and Korea are very expensive. However, an increase in demand growing from anime’s increasing popularity have resulted in people bootlegging these soundtracks online because they continue to remain unlicensed in North America. 

What are synonyms for the acronym OST?

There are a few different ways one can refer to the music that is from a television series or motion picture. Some of these are more specific, but others are more general. Any of these synonyms could be used if one does not know what OST stands for and asks for an explanation. These are listed below from Thesaurus.

  • Soundtrack
  • Playlist
  • Movie music
  • Movie album
  • Soundstripe
  • Score
  • Music accompanying movie
  • Composition
  • Orchestration

How can the acronym OST be used in a sentence?

The acronym OST is often used by people who are fans of both films and movies; some may even be interested in a particular composer and become excited when a new OST from that composer comes out so that they can purchase and listen to it. Others may be excited when a company releases an album from their favorite television show or film.

In the below example, Tiana and Hannah are big fans of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, the 90s television series. Many of the songs in the show were played by actual 90s bands at the fictitious club The Bronze in the show, according to Spin

Tiana: Hannah, you’ll never guess what I found on Ebay!

Hannah: A haunted voodoo doll?

Tiana: Even better! I found an OST to Buffy! It has all the songs they played at The Bronze, it’s so awesome!

Here, Tiana uses OST to refer to the Buffy: The Vampire Slayer album she found online.

Overall, the most common meaning of the acronym OST is “original soundtrack.” This is used to describe an album of music that is released from a television show or motion picture. This can include score, opening and closing credits, and any other songs used in the film or television show.