[ kee-smash ]
/ ˈkiˌsmæʃ /
Save This Word!

a random string of letters and symbols typed out on a keyboard or touchscreen, used to signal intense emotion in written communication:The photo of the actor was accompanied by a heartfelt keysmash.
the action of typing out such a random string of letters or symbols: Keysmash was the only appropriate response.
verb (used without object)
to use keysmashes to signal intense emotion in written communication:I was so excited I couldn’t stop keysmashing.
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…

Origin of keysmash

First recorded in 1995–2000; key1 (on a computer) + smash
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does keysmash mean?

A keysmash is a random string of characters sent as a message to indicate intense emotion, such as excitement or anger.

A keysmash is a collection of random keyboard characters typed by literally smashing a keyboard repeatedly. You might type a keysmash when you’re very excited or upset about something and want to share that in a message. Keysmashes can also be created when a pet walks across a keyboard or when something is dropped onto it. (Pro tip: Putting your computer to sleep before you walk away from it can help prevent unintentional keysmashes.)

To keysmash is to randomly type characters on your keyboard with the intention of creating a keysmash.

Example: Martina was so frustrated with the situation that she just texted me a long keysmash.

Where does keysmash come from?

The first records of the term keysmash come from around the late 1990s. It combines the terms key, referring to a key on a keyboard, and smash, meaning “to hit or strike with force.” 

 Two of the most frequently used keysmashes are “qwertyuiop” and “asdfghjkl,” which are the top and middle rows of the QWERTY keyboard. You can create either of these by dragging one of your fingers across the whole row. Keysmashes have become so popular that linguists have begun studying the most common trends in keysmashing. For example, they’ve found that most keysmashes follow a pattern based on how the smasher is feeling and what device they are using.

Did you know … ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with keysmash

What are some words that often get used in discussing keysmash?

How is keysmash used in real life?

Keysmash is used informally to describe a long string of characters typed with the intention of being meaningless.

Updated on

Try using keysmash!

True or False?

Keysmashing is often done to represent a strong emotion in text.