or DM


, plural dms, dm's.
  1. a direct message sent to one or more users of a social media service or private messaging service, usually when the accounts involved have an established relationship, as when the recipient is linked to, friends with, or following the sender on a social media platform:

    He sent me a scary and abusive dm, so I reported the message and blocked his account.

verb (used with object)

, dm'd or dmed, dm'ing, or dming.
  1. to send a direct message to (another user of such a service).



abbreviation for

  1. decimeter; decimeters.





abbreviation for



symbol for

  1. decimetre



abbreviation for

  1. (in Canada) deputy minister
  2. (the former) Deutschmark



the internet domain name for

  1. Dominica

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of dm1

First recorded in 2005–10; d(irect) ( def ) m(essage) ( def )

Discover More

Example Sentences

DM: I still think Will Swenson deserves the medal and I think that he acted courageously that day.

DM: A lot of times, a lot of people, we take it out of context.

DM: I think the only thing I can really say on this is that we settled our differences amicably.

DM: They should do that anyway, because these men and women are fighting and sacrificing for their freedom.

Charlie Sheen Charlie Sheen attempted to DM Justin Bieber his cell number over Twitter.

Large and very tall trees; bark of young trees tight, beginning to scale when the trees reach 1-2 dm.

Hollow sycamore logs were commonly used by the pioneers in which to smoke their meat, and sections of hollow logs about 12 dm.

Large trees with deeply furrowed bark; twigs smooth, greenish gray and often covered with a bloom; leaves generally 2-3.5 dm.

Our collections, all of which were made in 1959, are identified by the letters DM followed by a station-number.

Large trees of this species in Indiana are usually from 4-6 dm.


Discover More

About This Word

What else does DM mean?

DM stands for direct message, or a private message with a person on social media, especially Twitter. For you role players, DM can also stand for the Dungeon Master in a game of Dungeons & Dragons.

How is DM pronounced?


Where does DM come from?

DM for Dungeon Master emerges after the release of the roleplaying game Dungeon & Dragons in the 1970s. DMs organize and referee the game, including guiding the narrative for all the character players.

DM for direct message takes off after Twitter released the service in 2018. DMs allow two users or a group of users to send messages to each other that only they can see, whereas normal posts are public unless otherwise restricted. Often, users have to mutually follow each other to send and receive DMs. Right after the launch of the feature, DM was already being used as a verb (e.g., DM me when you can).

How is DM used in real life?

DM is widely used by Dungeons & Dragons players everywhere. Some players view DMs with trepidation, as they can control the game—potentially to their downfall. This has led to the expression beware the smiling DM, who might have some mischievous trick up their sleeve.

While closely associated with Twitter, DM can be used of other private-messaging services on social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook.

Individuals may DM one another for a variety of reasons (e.g., to get contact info for an interview or resolve an issue with a company). However, DMs have a creepier reputation in popular culture. Sliding into the DMs is an expression for when a person contacts someone privately, often men seeking sexual encounters with women.

Note that DM can also stand for direct mail or direct mailer, used by marketers and campaigners.

More examples of DM:

“Kevin Durant defends decision to join Warriors in DM exchange with fan”
Phillip Barnett, USA Today (headline), September 2018


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

Word of the Day


[tawr-choo-uhs ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.