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(used in digital communications) at the moment.Also atm


Did You Know These Phrases Are Actually Repetitive?

Stop wasting your breath ... these phrases are repetitive! These words actually mean the same thing!

There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?

Other definitions for ATM (2 of 3)


atmosphere; atmospheres.

Other definitions for ATM (3 of 3)


ampere-turns per meter.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What else does ATM mean?

In the world of personal banking, ATM is an abbreviation for automated teller machine.

In digital communication, ATM is short for at the moment, usually written in lowercase as atm.

How is ATM pronounced?

[ ey-tee-em ]

What are some other forms of ATM?


What are some other words related to ATM?


Where does ATM come from?

The 1950–60s saw the rise of self-service gas stations and vending machines, so it seemed inevitable that consumers would want a way to retrieve cash from their accounts without ever setting foot in a bank.

Well, they got their wish in the late 1960s with the invention of the automated teller machine, or ATM. An ATM allows a person to take out cash from their bank account without interacting with a bank teller (hence automated) or visiting a physical bank branch.

The abbreviation ATM is first recorded in 1975. Over the decades, ATMs became increasingly sophisticated, allowing people to deposit cash and buy postage stamps, among other services.

Fast forward to the 1990s–2000s, when ATM, usually as atm, took on the meaning at the moment online and in text messages. This abbreviation is first recorded in the early 1990s, coinciding with the rise of the internet.  In digital messages, atm spread as a convenient shorthand to communicate to someone what they were up to or how they were feeling right then (i.e., at the moment).

We should also mention that ATM is also short for asynchronous transfer mode, a telecommunications switching technology developed during the 1980s. Don’t worry, we’ll spare you the details (because we’re still trying to wrap our heads around them ourselves).

How is ATM used in real life?

ATM, for cash-withdrawal machines, is very widespread in speech and writing, so much so that many people might not know it stands for automated teller machine. Cash-deprived people can also look for ATM signs indicating the presence of the machines. Though an English-language term, ATM has currency (um, pun intended) all around the world, and the letters are typically capitalized.

Look for a usually lowercase atm online and in text messages in its sense of at the moment. On social media, atm is commonly used to comment on the cultural zeitgeist or whatever feelings one is working through.

A term similar to the digital atm is rn, or right now.

More examples of ATM:

“Alongside wider digital change, the ATM is currently witnessing many innovations and product launches that highlights it will still be a very important area of financial technology for retail banks and consumers.”
—Colin Gordon, NCR Corporation, January 2019

How to use ATM in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ATM (1 of 2)


abbreviation for
automated teller machine
asynchronous transfer mode: used in digital communications, etc
text messaging at the moment

British Dictionary definitions for ATM (2 of 2)


abbreviation for
atmosphere (unit of pressure)Also: at.
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for ATM


An abbreviation for automated teller machine. This is a computer terminal that takes the place of a human bank teller and allows the user to access basic bank services, such as making deposits and cash withdrawals from remote locations, twenty-four hours a day.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.