or ftw

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abbreviation Slang.
for the win. See win1 (def. 22).
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Origin of FTW

From its use in digital communications
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does FTW mean?

FTW is an abbreviation of the phrase for the win. For the win is a slang expression that enthusiastically conveys something is excellent or will succeed—it’s awesome, the greatest, the best ever.

How is FTW pronounced?

[ ef-tee-duhbuhl-yoo ]

What are some other forms of FTW?


What are some other words related to FTW?

Where does FTW come from?

For the win is an expression said when somebody is clinching a victory or win. In popular culture, it’s been used in everything from game-winning plays in the show Hollywood Squares to American football.

Like many other abbreviations popular online, FTW takes off in gaming culture, with some anecdotal evidence tracing it to players of such games as the first-person shooter Half-Life in the late 1990s. FTW may have originally referred to weapons or strategies that helped the player succeed—that is, they were used for (achieving) the win.

FTW spread online in the early 2000s. The abbreviation can be found—and explained—on various gaming Usenet groups, including one dedicated to poker and another to the MMORPG World of Warcraft, in the mid-2000s. Around this time, FTW extended as a general expression for anything considered great in some way.

The abbreviation may have been given a boost by another popular internet expression epic fail, a hyperbolic description for a failure, big or small. Win, in contrast to fail, has become synonymous for “excellent.”

How is FTW used in real life?

Online, the abbreviation FTW is often placed at the end of a description of whatever one finds amazing, awesome, or worthwhile (e.g., Cats FTW! or Listening to dubstep while windsurfing with my cats FTW).

Gamers still practice good FTW grammar, even decades after the first appearance of the acronym.

FTW is also referred to as an internet acronym or initialism.

More examples of FTW:

“Books FTW! Summer Reading Challenges to Hook Kids on Books”

—Frannie Ucciferri, Common Sense Media (headline), June 2018