Noob Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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The word noob has gained popularity in the late 1990s as shorthand for newbie, which describes someone who lacks experience or expertise in an activity. While some people find this word insulting, it’s often viewed as another way to refer to a newcomer to a particular activity. 

Depending on how this word is used, either as an insult (You’re such a noob!) or as slang (I’m still such a noob!), it can be accepted as an innocuous description of an individual — or it may come off as harsh and snarky.

Read on for everything you need to know about this word and how to use it properly! 

What Does the Word Noob Mean? 

In the English dictionary, the definition of noob (nuːb) is a term that refers to someone new to a particular game or activity. It can be used as either an insult or a way of acknowledging one’s own novice status without deriding oneself. When used as an insult, it can be perceived as offensive or lighthearted depending on context and tone. 

A noob is a person who is inexperienced or new to an activity or game. More specifically, a noob can be defined as someone new to the internet. The word noob is also used to describe someone whose skills are far below yours in an online game or community.

In short, the term can be understood as an insult directed at newcomers perceived as unqualified or unworthy of playing with more experienced players. However, some exceptions exist where words like “noob” may not be derogatory.

 For example, many popular multiplayer games have unique slang terminology for players who aren’t highly skilled (e.g., “[name] sucks at [game]”).

If you were to look in a thesaurus for word lists of synonyms, you would likely find words including: 

  • Fledgling
  • Starter
  • Recruit
  • Fresh Blood
  • New User
  • Entrant
  • Freshman
  • Newbie
  • Beginner
  • Greenhorn

What Is the Etymology of the Word Noob? 

The first known use of the word noob was in 2000. The term is a shortened version of the word newbie. The opposite of a noob is someone who has expertise in an activity and might be called an expert or elite player.

In online gaming communities, the term is often used to disparage players new to the community who are perceived to be unskilled or inexperienced. 

For example: “Noobs always get stuck on this level,” meaning that newer players have difficulty completing a particular stage within a video game. 

If you’ve never heard someone call themselves a noob before, don’t worry—you’re not alone! If you hear someone describe themselves as one, it probably means they’re not particularly gifted at whatever activity they’re talking about. 

Think back to when your parents would compare other people’s abilities with their own during family gatherings when you were younger… That’s basically how this works too!

What Is Internet Slang? 

Internet slang — also known as internet shorthand — is language used primarily on the internet. While it is often used for social media posts and texting, it’s most commonly associated with online gaming and chat rooms. 

We can break down Internet slang into four main categories: emoticons (smileys), acronyms and initialisms (LOL), abbreviations (tyt), and leetspeak (1337). While each has its own rules, all are designed to save time while typing or talking online. 

The word “noob” falls into the category of abbreviations because it shortens a full word into a slang term. Given the fast pace of internet forums and games, finding these sorts of shortened words in many different places is common. 

It can sometimes take too long to say the full word, so gamers will use these abbreviations to get their points across quickly. 

What Are Online Multiplayer Games? 

The most common place that this word is likely to be found is in the context of online games and internet gaming. This is where the term originated, and understanding online culture can help you know the word at large. 

Online multiplayer games are those you can play with other people in the same room or at different locations. They’re not the same as single-player games, which you play alone, but you can also play them offline. 

Most online multiplayer games require an Internet connection to play since they need to connect to a server where all of the action takes place. This allows players worldwide to join together and create a more immersive experience than what’s available through traditional gaming methods (such as playing on consoles or PCs).

As long as your device has an Internet connection, you’ll be able to play online multiplayer games no matter where you are in the world! You may even make new friends when playing these titles — or maybe even make enemies!


This term is often used in a derogatory way, and it’s best to avoid it unless you’re sure the person you’re talking to won’t find it offensive. It’s also good practice not to use it on social media, where people will view your comment outside your usual circle. There are plenty of alternatives for noob, and many of those terms are less likely to be perceived as offensive.

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Noob Definition & Meaning |

Noob definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

NOOB | Cambridge English Dictionary